Russian and South African nuclear companies strengthen ties (15 June 2012)
By: Keith Campbell
15th June 2012
Rusatom Overseas, the international arm of Russia’s State-owned nuclear energy group Rosatom, has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the South African Nuclear Energy Corporation (Necsa). The MoU lays the foundation for the development of joint business projects in, for example, the production and marketing of radioisotopes, the manufacture of nuclear fuel and the fabrication of power equipment. It also opens the way for future cooperation in other, mutually agreed, areas.
“The South African nuclear industry has great potential for growth, not only in the business of isotope production where South Africa is already playing a major role but also in areas such as fuel fabrication and nuclear manufacturing,” highlighted Necsa acting CEO Don Robertson. “Local provision of both nuclear and conventional power plant equipment for the envisaged [South African] NPPs (nuclear power plants) will be a good undertaking for Necsa. Partnerships such as the one reinforced by this memorandum will ensure that Necsa is in a good position to participate in the execution of many South African initiatives falling within the scope of this agreement.”
“Signing the MoU with Necsa allows us to make practical the implementation of initiatives on those prospective cooperation areas, which have been intensely studied by the specialists of our countries during last year,” pointed out Rusatom Overseas director general Alexey Kalinin. “We see great potential in such cooperation and are looking forward to witnessing the first significant results.”
Cooperation within the framework of the MoU is intended by both sides to assist the execution of South Africa’s Integrated Resource Plan 2010, which includes the construction of NPPs with a total capacity of 9.6 GW by 2030. Additionally, Necsa and Rusatom Overseas also plan to develop cooperation, including Rusatom’s parent group, in NPP construction projects in third-party countries.
The MoU was signed by Kalinin and by Necsa NTP Radioisotopes executive director Mapula Letsoalo in the presence of South African Energy Minister Dipuo Peters and Rosatom director-general Sergey Kirienko. The signing was one of the events at the Atomexpo 2012 exposition in Moscow during the first week of June.
NTP Radioisotopes is a subsidiary of Necsa and manufactures a series of nuclear products using the Safari-1 research reactor and related facilities at Necsa’s Pelindaba complex, west of Pretoria. Its products fall into five categories – radiopharmaceuticals, radiochemicals, radiation technology products, sealed radia- tion sources for industry and the provision of irradiation services.
Radiochemicals and radiopharmaceuticals (the former are used to make the latter) are the fundamental elements for nuclear medicine and are used for both diagnostic and thera- peutic purposes. NTP is a world leader in the production of radiochemicals, especially molybdenum-99 and iodine-131.
Sealed radioactive sources for industry are used for nondestructive testing as well as process control and industrial gauging. Radiation technology products include radioisotope transport and process containers, radiation dosimetry service, contract manufacturing services and radioluminescent light sources and safety signs. Irradiation services involve the neutron transformation dosing of silicon crystals, as well as other neutron irradiation services, in the Safari-1 reactor.
NTP exports to some 60 countries on five continents and has about 150 highly qualified and skilled staff. All its operations are ISO 9001:2008 certified.
Edited by: Martin Zhuwakinyu