Nuclear power in South Africa – Why?

Nuclear power provides about 14% of the world’s electricity. In South Africa, 6% of our electricity comes from Koeberg, our only nuclear station, and 92% from coal. Each of our big coal stations typically uses 15 million tons of coal a year (17 thousand tons an hour). It is too expensive to transport such volumes of coal long distances, so the coal stations must be built next to the coal fields. All of the coal fields are in the north east interior of the country, so that is where all the big coal stations are. Koeberg is the only big power station in the entire west of the country or on the coast.

This article covers the last 25 years of nuclear development in South Africa. Unfortunately, this period began with Chernobyl and ended with Fukushima!


Take note

  • Nuclear energy has the best safety record of any source of energy.
  • Nuclear power now provides 14% of the world’s electricity; whereas in South Africa it contributes only 6% (92% being from coal).
  • For base load generation, nuclear provides a responsible way forward.


Published as: 25 Years of nuclear power in South Africa

By K Kemm (Stratek) and A Kenny (Consultant)

Electricity+Control, November 2011 (pgs 98 – 100)

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