Question NW2944 to the Minister of Science and Technology

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28 September 2015 - NW2944

Profile picture: Lotriet, Prof  A

Lotriet, Prof A to ask the Minister of Science and Technology

(1)Whether her department is in any way involved in research regarding the new nuclear build programme in the country; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details?”


The Department is not involved in research regarding the new nuclear build programme in the country since the nuclear technology option/choice is yet to be decided on. However, there are existing initiatives in support of nuclear energy industry that the Department of Science and Technology (DST) is involved in for the development of know-how and technologies in the nuclear technologies fields.

These include the Nuclear Engineering Research Chair at North West University; Carbon Materials and Technology Chair at the University of Pretoria; Advanced Materials Initiative (AMI); South African Nuclear Human Asset Research Programme (SANHARP); Masters in Accelerator and Nuclear Science (MANUS) and Masters in Material Science (MatSci) programme, involving the University of Zululand, the University of the Western Cape and iThemba Labs.

The focus of the work is as follows:

  • Nuclear safety, which includes radiation effects of mining and routine discharges of Koeberg nuclear power station and also radiation standards and regulations;
  • Nuclear materials beneficiation;
  • Carbon technologies research with emphasis on nuclear graphite technology to support nuclear power generation;
  • Reactor technology research on modelling and simulation of nuclear reactors and their associated power plants and process applications. These models are applied in the analysis, design and optimisation of pressurised water reactors and high temperature reactors;
  • Nuclear project management, nuclear energy economics; and
  • Collaborative research on system analysis of passive safe small modular high temperature gas cooled reactors.

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