Statement by Maseokwane Violet Meruti on the Next Generation Nuclear Program

21 August 2008

In 2005 the US launched the Next Generation Nuclear Program (NGNP) which focussed on development of high temperature gas - reactor technology through public/private partnerships for use in industrial processes as opposed to electricity. The current annual funding of the Next Generation Nuclear Program (NGNP) is around $75 million (dollars) or R500 million (Rands)

The roll-out of this programme led to a competitive bid for early studies in 2006. The Pebble Bed Modular Reactor (PBMR) in a Westinghouse led consortium, was an early participant and that the pebble bed technology was the most successful relative to General Atomics design used by other designers.

The Pebble Bed Modular Reactor (PBMR) is formally involved in pre-licensing processes with the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission and is the only gas reactor program with this status. The industrial application of pebble bed technology holds much promise for South Africa as a world leader in this area, and for humanity in its quest to find alternative sources of energy.

I thank you!

Maseokwane Violet Meruti
Whip: JMC Improvement of Quality of Life & Status of Women
Tel: 021 403 3193