CAPE TOWN, Plans are being drawn up to ensure that South Africa gains the capacity to desalinate its own seawater.
Speaking at the 38th Expert Group meeting of the Generation IV International Forum (GIF) here Monday, the acting Director-General of the Department of Energy, Tseliso Maqubela, said the City of Cape Town, where the meeting was held, is facing drought and the highest level of water restrictions.
The GIF is a co-operative international endeavour which was set up to carry out the research and development needed to establish the feasibility and performance capabilities of the next generation nuclear energy systems.
The irony is that it (Cape Town) is alongside an infinite body of water, which we do not have the technology to harness economically. For us, this is where Generation IV hybrid reactor systems can play a pivotal role, through desalination of seawater, he told the meeting.
He added that South Africa could not wait until the full development of these systems. We cannot wait until then, and have already implemented solutions to use the Koeberg nuclear reactor to desalinate seawater for its own use, and further plans are underway for increasing this capacity for more general use, said Maqubela.
For South Africa, the provision of affordable electricity is paramount, said Maqubela, who added that the good work being done by the Experts Group, which is the most critical hub of technical knowledge of the Generation IV International Forum, is an important indicator of whether a particular technology or design will be suitable for a country.
Although some of the other factors such as reduction of waste and improving the utilisation of fuel are important to us as well, the determining factor for adoption will be the price of energy produced. I use the term ‘price of energy’, as opposed to ‘price of electricity’ because, as you know, some Generation IV reactor technologies are suitable for more than just the production of electricity.
Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK