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South Africa and Rosatom Cooperating on Floating Nuclear Power Plants

March 28, 2024 (EIRNS)—Russia’s Rosatom and South Africa are cooperating on floating nuclear power plants (NPP), to help meet the critical need for expansion of South Africa’s electrical capacity. One floating nuclear power plant, aboard the Academik Lermontov designed by Russia’s Rosatom began operating in Arctic in 2019.

Ryan Collier, acting CEO of Rosatom Central and South Africa, revealed this cooperation to Sputnik Africa on the sidelines of Atomexpo-2024 in Sirius, Russia. “I think some of the key aspects and key advantages of floating nuclear power plants are that you are able to get all the benefits of nuclear energy in a much shorter time frame,” he said. Another advantage of the floating nuclear project, according to Collier, is that South Africa will pay only for the electricity, “as opposed to having to invest in a large nuclear project,” since all construction costs will be covered by Rosatom, which owns the fleet. “We believe that for newcomer countries, this would be very beneficial, and also we believe that from a licensing and safeguards perspective, it will be a lot easier for them to get power on the grid from floating nuclear power plants,” he said.

Collier, a South African, added that his country may need several floating nuclear power plants, or a combination of floating and land-based small modular reactors, to meet its large electricity needs. “Russia really is seen as a very reliable partner in terms of nuclear energy, and I think that’s why many African nations are interested in working with Rosatom in terms of their nuclear programs.”