Russian nuclear fuel company TVEL, a subsidiary of state atomic energy corporation Rosatom, said on Wednesday that it signed a memorandum on cooperation with South African Nuclear Energy Corporation Nesca in the field of nuclear fuel production.
The memorandum was signed during the Russia-Africa Summit last month.
“Both companies aim for combining existing competencies in this area and further interaction to develop relevant capabilities,” TVEL said in a statement.
South Africa has a long history of developing its own nuclear power industry – the Koeberg NPP has been successfully operating for almost 40 years, and there is a SAFARI-1 research reactor. The question of building a new nuclear power plant is also being raised.
As Rosatom said ahead of the Russia-Africa Summit, the state corporation is ready to participate in a tender for the construction of a new station at the request of South African colleagues.
The memorandum provides for commitments by Nesca and TVEL to strengthen bilateral cooperation in the field of the use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. It was noted that the agreement is particularly important for South Africa “as it opens up the possibility of restoring production capacity for the manufacture and supply of nuclear fuel”.
The Russian company said that the memorandum was signed against the background of South Africa’s preparations for the BRICS summit in August 2023. According to TVEL, the signing of the agreement is a “step towards increasing the sustainability of nuclear generation in the BRICS countries.”
During the Russia-Africa Summit, Risatom signed intergovernmental agreements on cooperation in the field of use of atomic energy for peaceful purposes with Zimbabwe and Burundi.
The second Russia-Africa Summit and Economic and Humanitarian Forum took place in the Russian city of St. Petersburg on July 27-28.