#NoNewNuclear and no Karpowerships


In August, South Africa moved a little closer towards building a new nuclear power station.

OUTA continues to oppose this project as unaffordable and inappropriate. Here’s where we are on the proposed nuclear build and the Karpowerships.

During August two regulators have run public participation processes on aspects of new nuclear build.

OUTA made submissions to both, opposing new nuclear. The first decision has already been made, in favour of new nuclear build, and the second is awaited.

In August, the National Energy Regulator (NERSA) formally approved the government’s proposal that South Africa build another 2 500 MW of new nuclear power.

This means that the Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy, Gwede Mantashe, will go ahead with starting procurement for the new build. Mantashe had submitted the request for approval of his determination to NERSA in June 2020, in terms of the Electricity Regulation Act.

NERSA has not yet provided reasons for its decision.

OUTA is very disappointed in the NERSA decision and awaits NERSA’s reasons with keen interest.

OUTA strongly opposes the new build.

In February 2021, OUTA made a formal submission to NERSA objecting to the Minister’s determination that the new build was needed, during the public participation process. An outline of our objections is here.

Also in August, the Nuclear Energy Regulator (NNR) held public hearings on Eskom’s application for a nuclear installation site licence for Thyspunt near Cape St Francis in the Eastern Cape.

OUTA also made a submission to the NNR opposing this licence. An outline of our objections is here.

A decision on this is still awaited.

OUTA believes that South Africa needs strong regulators who will act primarily in the interest of the public on such issues.

We will continue to campaign against new nuclear build.

OUTA also opposed the Karpowership licence applications to NERSA in August.

This is for the three floating powerships that Mantashe wants to give 20-year contracts to for “emergency” power, which have been estimated as costing up to R218 billion. They are powered by gas.

OUTA’s opposition to Karpowership is outlined here.

OUTA believes these applications were incomplete so should not even have been considered, and that there are strong indications of corruption in the process. 

OUTA is very disappointed in the NERSA decision and awaits NERSA’s reasons with keen interest. See our comment on the initial NERSA decision here; this was later approved by NERSA as the final decision.