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Russia’s Rosatom, South Africa sign nuclear power cooperation deal

July 08, 2015, 21:20 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Russia will train specialists for South Africa: nuclear power plant personnel, engineering and construction personnel and specialists for the non-energy sector and nuclear infrastructure
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© Stanislav Krasilnikov/TASS

MOSCOW, July 9. /TASS/. Russia’s civilian nuclear power corporation Rosatom and South Africa’s Energy Ministry have signed a memorandum of understanding, the Rosatom press office said on Wednesday.

The memorandum was signed at the 7th summit of the BRICS grouping of the world’s major emerging economies (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) in the Russian Urals city of Ufa.

Under the document, the sides intend to develop educational programs and train personnel for the South African nuclear power industry.

Russia will train five categories of specialists for South Africa: nuclear power plant personnel, engineering and construction personnel and specialists for the non-energy sector and nuclear infrastructure.

At the current stage, Russian nuclear power industry universities are expected to receive about 200 South African candidates for practical training.

Russia and South Africa will also organize work to popularize nuclear power engineering and technology in the South African republic. For this purpose, both sides consider opening an information center in the capital of South Africa and jointly hold international industry-wide conferences.

The South African Energy Ministry signed an agreement with Rosatom in October 2014 on strategic nuclear power partnership.

The Russian civilian nuclear power corporation has offered to build eight reactors 1,200 MW each and a research reactor in South Africa. Russia earlier said it was ready to provide preferential interstate loans to South Africa to finance the project.

Rosatom also signed a memorandum with North-West University, South Africa’s sole higher educational institution training nuclear power industry specialists.

A tender for the construction of new nuclear power units in South Africa will be announced in July 2015.

The project for building new NPPs will actually allow South Arica to create its own nuclear power industry and ensure that local production accounts for 40-60% This will help create about 30,000 jobs and bring South Africa about $16 billion at the stage of construction alone and another $5 billion in revenues for the republic’s budget.

Rosatom Head Sergey Kiriyenko earlier said he estimated the construction of 8 reactors at $40-50 billion and the program of creating the entire nuclear power infrastructure in South Africa at $100 billion.

South Africa currently operates the Koeberg nuclear power plant, which is Africa’s sole NPP.

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