Green Energy

  • Agreement Signed for Local Nuclear Fuel Development in South Africa

Agreement Signed for Local Nuclear Fuel Development in South Africa

Mar 12 2013 Read 939 Times

Westinghouse Electric Company (USA) recently announced that it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with The South African Nuclear Energy Corporation Ltd (Necsa) to investigate and cooperate in the development of local fabrication capabilities for fuel assembly components.

This most recent agreement with Necsa is a demonstration of Westinghouse’s commitment towards localisation of nuclear technologies to South Africa. By using Necsa’s state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities, this MOU will lead to closer cooperation towards fuel component manufacturing as well as nuclear fuel technology support in the future. Westinghouse remains committed to play an active role in the electricity generation in South Africa, building on its localisation efforts through a network of industrial partners.

The industrial growth forecast in South Africa is backed by an ambitious government plan where the need for sustainable energy will become vitally important. Westinghouse firmly believes in the huge potential growth of South Africa’s energy business towards a more balanced portfolio of clean sources of renewable and nuclear energy.

Westinghouse started fuel deliveries to Eskom’s Koeberg Nuclear Power Station Unit 1 at the beginning of 2000. Under the present fuel contract with Westinghouse, three nuclear fuel reloads are being delivered, with the last one to be delivered in mid-2014. Westinghouse Fuel Engineering is also currently working with Eskom toward extending and updating the contract for software services, including technology licensing and associated computer hardware.

“By signing this MOU with Necsa, we are showing our commitment to provide nuclear technologies and engineering support to the South African nuclear industry” said François Harari, Westinghouse vice president and managing director for France, Benelux and South Africa. “We are proud of our proven Westinghouse technology and our global capabilities to deliver safe, reliable and clean base-load nuclear power.”

“Necsa welcomes this partnership for local nuclear fuel development with Westinghouse and we are excited by the localisation benefits that will come with this agreement,” said Phumzile Tshelane, Necsa CEO.

Westinghouse has been active in South Africa's nuclear industry, mainly through support to the Koeberg Nuclear Power Station, since the 1990s and is at the origin of the nuclear fleet technology in South Africa--its two reactors are Westinghouse-licensed. Westinghouse’s main localisation drive started in 2007 when it acquired IST Nuclear (Pty) Ltd, now operating as Westinghouse Electric South Africa (Pty) Ltd. From their offices in Cape Town and Centurion, Westinghouse supports Eskom’s Koeberg facilities, the local nuclear industry, and projects in China, U.K., France, Germany, and the U.S.

Westinghouse Nuclear Fuel is a single-source fuel provider for Pressurized Water Reactors (PWRs), Boiling Water Reactors (BWRs) and Advanced Gas-cooled Reactors (AGRs) worldwide. Westinghouse Nuclear Fuel has ten manufacturing locations around the world, including two manufacturing sites in Europe: Springfields Fuels Limited (Preston, Lancashire, U.K.) and Westinghouse Electric Sweden (Västerås, Sweden). Westinghouse is currently fueling 153 PWR/BWR plants worldwide.

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