At the Mining Indaba in Cape Town on Wednesday, February 7th 2024, Dr. Kelvin Kemm, Chairman of Stratek Global, stated that South Africa has the potential of exporting Nuclear Reactors.
Dr. Kemm mentioned that South Africa has been leading the way in developing a commercial Small Modular Reactor (SMR).
As a result, the African country is now a world leader in SMR development and is in a position to build the prototype immediately.
These reactors, like the HTMR-100, are designed to be used in remote areas and don’t need a lot of water for cooling. They use helium gas instead.
South Africa’s design choice is intentional, and makes these Nuclear Reactors Reactors versatile and suitable for African countries.
These reactors are affordable and can be owned by governments, provinces, municipalities, and even private companies like mining firms.
Kemm further mentioned that there’s been a lot of interest in South Africa’s reactor internationally.
“Stratek Global is in talks with foreign funders to raise R10 billion privately. They’ve already signed foundation agreements with some companies,” he said.
He urged both private enterprises and the government to support the venture. He also highlighted that many leaders talk about improving electricity supply but don’t take meaningful action.
Nuclear Power in Africa: Emerging Interest and Opportunities
Dr. Kemm further stated that twelve African countries have told the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) they want to use nuclear power.
He said African countries can afford and operate small nuclear reactors easily, and it’s not true that only rich countries can have nuclear power.
Moreover, he said that other countries are hiring South African nuclear experts quickly.
For example, in the UAE, 160 South Africans work at the Barakah nuclear plant. In the US, whole teams of South African nuclear engineers work there.
“If South African leaders do not exhibit some leadership now then we risk losing more of our people and losing a fantastic opportunity to become exporters of nuclear reactors.
“South Africa exporting the locally developed HTMR-100 does not mean that we would also not build large nuclear reactors in collaboration with foreign suppliers.