07 November 2022
The South African Nuclear Energy Corporation (Necsa) SOC Limited, in collaboration with the
Department of Mineral Resources & Energy (DMRE) and the Department of Science & Innovation (DSI), hosted South African stakeholders involved in research and industry users in an engagement event aimed at receiving inputs on Neutron Scattering (NS), which is an important element in the Multi-Purpose Reactor (MPR) approved by Cabinet as a successor to SAFARI-1.

On the feedback regarding the workshop, the head of Research and Innovation at Necsa, Dr
Pradish Rampersadh remarked: “The workshop was well attended by users of neutron scattering techniques from academia, science and engineering institutions, as well as industry. High-level perspectives on the vast field of neutron scattering applications were set by leading international speakers on eleven thematic areas of direct interest to the sciences, engineering and technology (SET) communities. This set the scene for enthusiastic discussions on ways to build the South African NS community and gather informed opinions on the selection of an essential suite (first phase) of neutron scattering instruments for the MPR”. He concluded: “Going forward with optimum momentum, the meeting recommended the formation of a Neutron Scattering User Group, ideally championed from this community, to serve as incubator for the marketing of the initiative, with a strong underpinned educational drive to elucidate fundamentals of neutron scattering and the introduction of techniques and applications.

“As we move ahead with the implementation of the MPR project, this workshop assisted in
assessing and considering stakeholder requirements. It is crucial to note that Neutron Scattering (NS) techniques have the potential to substantially expand the research infrastructure and capacity available to South African researchers with applications covering many fields within the SET sectors. We want to make sure that the facility will cater for the User’s needs by involving them from the onset thereby ensuring maximum utilisation and mutual edification.” – Necsa Group Chief Executive Officer Mr Loyiso Tyabashe.

The MPR will expand research capabilities and outputs substantially in that it will be equipped
with a cold-neutron source that extends the delivered range of neutrons to long wavelengths (very low energies). This support for the MPR stems from the inherent downstream socio-economic benefits that neutron scattering contributes towards the expansion of a knowledge-based economy and innovation. This includes pipeline development of high-level skills and increasing capacity towards the fundamental understanding of processes and methods for research and development of advanced materials, products and innovative manufacturing techniques, such as additive manufacturing.

Necsa is adamant that continued stakeholder engagement is essential to ensure the
establishment of a well-resourced Neutron Scattering Centre that mutually benefits the science
community and is a catalyst for innovation.

More Information about SAFARI-1:

South Africa’s flagship nuclear research reactor, SAFARI-1, is a 20 MW light water-moderated
reactor commissioned on 18 March 1965. Research collaborations with academia and industry
utilising neutron beam line techniques, continuously contribute to SAFARI-1’s scientific visibility
through a constant stream of publications in the open literature, contributions at local and
international conferences, as well as playing prominent roles in projects with South African
industries and universities in advanced research with postgraduate qualifications being an
important contribution to a knowledge economy.

Dr Nikelwa Tengimfene
Senior Manager: Corporate Communication & Stakeholder Relations
Group South African Nuclear Energy Corporation SOC Limited (Necsa)
Tel: 012 305 4454
Cell: 0662934451
E-mail: nikelwa.tengimfene@necsa.co.za