NEWS & ANALYSIS

Tina Joemat-Pettersson must come clean on signed Russian nuclear deal - Lance Greyling

DA MP calls on minister to release details of agreement signed with Rosatom on sidelines of IAEA meeting in Vienna

Minister must provide details on signed Russian nuclear deal

22 September 2014

The Minister of Energy, Tina Joemat-Pettersson, must immediately release details relating to the recently signed deal between the government of South Africa, and Russian state owned company, Rosatom (see here and here). 

I will write to her to demand that the information be made public as soon as possible. 

The deal was signed on the side-lines of the 58th session of the U.N. General Assembly of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna. 

We have serious concerns about this agreement. Last year, an unsigned draft agreement sought to give Russia exclusive rights for the construction of nuclear plants in South Africa by committing government to securing consent from Russia should South Africa wish to enter into any other agreements with third-country organisations or countries. 

Rosatom's technology is reportedly also not the most advanced of the options on the table, and is therefore also not necessarily the most cost-effective. Questions around the cost per megawatt-hour of Rosatom's reactors compared to the alternatives must be answered in great detail. 

This deal may also undermine South Africa's bilateral commitments on nuclear energy with other nations and would indeed act against South Africa's national interest - limiting our ability to effectively negotiate and procure nuclear capacity from other nations. 

With South Africa facing massive power constraints and the ever-present threat of higher electricity prices pressuring South African pockets - which the this deal is sure to impact on -  the Minister must act in an open and accountable manner and provide details on the proposed deal as a matter of urgency to the South African public.

Statement issued by Lance Greyling MP, DA Shadow Minister of Energy, September 22 2014

Picture, from Rosatum website, of Rosatom head Sergei Kirienko signing agreement with Tina Joemat-Pettersson:

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