Today's Big Stories

'Russian nuclear plant moves towards transparency in the face of SA secrecy'

A group of local journalists and other stakeholders have been given a tour of a Russian energy plant which produces the components needed to generate nuclear power.

The plant, located in Volgodonsk, has been operating since 2001 and is bidding for business in South Africa's controversial nuclear programme.

(Also read our article: Leaked 'intelligence report' an alleged attempt to smear the Treasury)

According to EWN reporter Alex Eliseev, the nuclear plant construction company has committed themselves to transparency, in the face of state secrecy.

They took us into the the heart of the beast. At one point, we were 35 metres away from the live reactor and the message was that we've been using this energy for a long time - that it works and is real.

Alex Eliseev, EWN reporter

Listen to the full conversation from CapeTalk's Breakfast with Kieno Kammies:

He says the Russian authorities have made an effort to change the perception of nuclear power and the association with reactive disasters such a Chernobyl.

Many people think about Chernobyl when they think about Russian nuclear energy. The bidding organisation want to show South Africa that it really isn't like that.

Alex Eliseev, EWN reporter

Eliseev said that energy expert Chris Yelland seemed impressed by the efforts to solidify support for the nuclear deal.

Two weeks ago, Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson said that cost comparisons are being done to determine whether nuclear power is the best solution for South Africa.

She added that the cost of the controversial nuclear project has not been determined and no country has been chosen to supply the plants.

Back in July, at the 7th Brics Summit in Ufa, Russia, South Africa and Russia signed two memoranda of understanding that are aimed at strengthening efforts between the two countries in the field of nuclear energy.


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