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Nuclear Power Marches Forward in BRICS Countries

Here are the latest indications.

  • The Russian government, according to Rosatom, is willing to provide South Africa with the capital required to build the eight nuclear power plants with an aggregate capacity of 9600 MW which are planned. Estimates of the costs run from $37 billion to $100 billion. According to Rosatom’s regional vice president for sub-Saharan Africa, Viktor Polikarpov, the term of the loan might be 20 years, and South Africa would only start to repay once the first plant starts operating.

“The interest rate the government is offering is not very high, it’s really lucrative. We won’t get this interest rate anywhere, at any bank,” Polikarpov said. While five nations—Russia, France, China, the United States, and South Korea—are competing for the contract, “there is widespread speculation that President Jacob Zuma’s close relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin has sealed the deal for Rosatom,” iAfrica.com reported on July 16.

  • In China, to speed up bringing on line more nuclear power plants, the State Power Investment Corporation (SPI) has been formed from the merger of China Power Investment Corporation (CPI) and State Nuclear Power Technology Corporation (SNPTC). It was launched July 14 in Beijing. On July 21 the U.S. Energy Information Agency announced that China’s nuclear capacity will outpace that of South Korea and Russia by the end of the year—bringing it to third place after France and the United States.

  • In India, the Russian-built Koodankulam 2, a 1,000 MW replica of Koodankulam 1, which is now in operation, is now getting ready for commissioning. All construction and licensing work has been completed, World Nuclear News reports.