NECSA stated that the continued reduction of government grant allocation to NECSA over the past three years together with more challenging market conditions for its commercial subsidiaries had increased the risk that NECSA would not be able to meet fully its core legislative and policy mandate. However, in outlining the achievements of the entity, NECSA said it had contributed to a range of policy-making and public participation processes relating to the energy planning, nuclear energy research and development and related topics, and maintained participation in national and international collaborative programmes in the field of nuclear research and development and Generation 1V nuclear energy systems.
The National Nuclear Regulator highlighted the risk it was facing due to insufficient funding. This was attributed to diminishing state allocations coupled with delays in the approval and gazetting of authorisation fees, difficulties in economic conditions and non-payment of authorisation fees by some authorisation holders. In addressing these problems, the NNR would strive to maintain adequate funding and was in the process of reviewing its funding model in order to ensure sustainability.
Members wanted to know how public education was going to be carried out if NNR was having financial constraints and how NNR was going to ensure that nuclear plants were used for peaceful means only. The NNR was asked to provide the Committee with the Safety Review Plan of both Eskom and Koeberg.
NECSA was asked to unpack its Nuclear Build Programme plans because the government was planning to build power stations. The Committee said it was critical that it get a response from the Department so that it could understand the expanded mandate of NECSA and the envisaged role the entity would play in the nuclear energy programme; and how budget reduction had affected the commitments of NECSA. The Committee decided it needed to set some time aside to be updated on all nuclear matters – from legislation to practical issues.
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