Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Africa and Nuclear Power

The entire continent of Africa has one nuclear power facility and it is located in South Africa. Hopefully that will change soon. According to The Wall Street Journal a consortium that includes the South African government and the Westinghouse Electric Co (owned by Japan's Toshiba Corp) is investing $3 billion in a new type of power plant called the Pebble Bed Modular Reactor (PBMR) . PBMR is being developed by Pebble Bed Modular Reactor Ltd, which is 15% owned by Westinghouse with the remainder by the South African government and the state-owned utility company Eskom.

Eskom is still in the planning stages in developing a PBMR. China has already built a research PBMR and is proceeding with plans to construct a demonstration facility before moving to commmercialization. AAEA's parent Center for Environment, Commerce & Energy visited with the developers of the PBMR in China and toured the facility, which is located near the Great Wall. AAEA will work to promote the use of nuclear power in Africa and will assist with the development of the PBMR. AAEA has discussed the project with Eskom and executives at PBMR Ltd.

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