Thursday, March 30 2023 Sign In   |    Register

News Quick Search



Front Page
Power News
Today's News
Yesterday's News
Week of Mar 27
Week of Mar 20
Week of Mar 13
Week of Mar 06
Week of Feb 27
By Topic
By News Partner
Gas News
News Customization


Pro Plus(+)

Add on products to your professional subscription.
  • Energy Archive News

    Home > News > Power News > News Article

    Share by Email E-mail Printer Friendly Print

    'No immediate crisis' for Koeberg over lapse of nuclear fuel agreement with the US

    February 6, 2023 - Kristin Engel


      Cape Town - Given the already precarious maintenance being carried out at the Koeberg Nuclear Power Station, the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) has said there was “no immediate crisis” over the expiration of South Africa’s pact with the US to allow nuclear fuel imports.

      The department assured there was no immediate crisis regarding the expiry of the nuclear co-operation agreement between South Africa and the US and the subsequent suspension of Westinghouse’s (Eskom’s nuclear fuel supplier) licence to supply Koeberg.

      Koeberg was currently being supplied with nuclear fuel from Westinghouse Electric Company LLC in the US to load Unit 1, and fuel from Framatome in France was used to load Unit 2.

      Koeberg 1 went off-line on December 10 for normal maintenance, refuelling, and the replacement of the three steam generators (SGR) as part of the long-term operation to extend operating life. The unit is expected to return to service in early June.

      In Eskom’s last media briefing, chief nuclear officer Keith Featherstone said there were enough nuclear fuel supplies in stock at Koeberg to keep Unit 1 running when it is expected to come back online.

      Featherstone said: “The fuel that we need at Koeberg 1 is already on site and ready to be loaded. The next time we need fuel from Westinghouse is around mid-2024, (which they currently cannot supply due to the lapsing of the agreement between the US and South Africa). We have over a year to work with the government to sort out either re-establishing the US-SA agreement, or the option under the IAEA non-proliferation agreement between different countries for Westinghouse to apply for permission to supply us fuel as a once-off each time it supplies fuel.”

      Featherstone said the nuclear fuel supply for Unit 2 would not be impacted as this fuel from Framatome was imported from France.

      Addressing the matter, the department said: “With many years of strong diplomatic relations between South Africa and the US, the two states signed a nuclear co-operation agreement on the peaceful uses of nuclear energy in 1995, which came into effect on December 4, 1997 for a period of 25 years. As such, the term of the agreement expired by effluxion of time on December 4, 2022.”

      The DMRE said it initiated negotiations for the conclusion of a new standardised nuclear co-operation agreement with the US in 2018 but the negotiations were still ongoing.

      The department added there was no immediate crisis which could exacerbate the load shedding from Eskom due to Koeberg.

      However, urgent resolution was needed to allow Westinghouse to provide fuel supply. The department was working with other government departments to expedite the negotiations of the new nuclear co-operation agreement with the US.

      Cape Argus


    Other Articles - International


       Home  -  Feedback  -  Contact Us  -  Safe Sender  -  About Energy Central   
    Copyright © 1996-2023 by CyberTech, Inc. All rights reserved.
    Energy Central® and Energy Central Professional® are registered trademarks of CyberTech, Incorporated. Data and information is provided for informational purposes only, and is not intended for trading purposes. CyberTech does not warrant that the information or services of Energy Central will meet any specific requirements; nor will it be error free or uninterrupted; nor shall CyberTech be liable for any indirect, incidental or consequential damages (including lost data, information or profits) sustained or incurred in connection with the use of, operation of, or inability to use Energy Central. Other terms of use may apply. Membership information is confidential and subject to our privacy agreement.