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South Africa and Russia in a multi billion nuclear reactor deal

File Photo. Picture Credit: ThinkStock Images
File Photo. Picture Credit: ThinkStock Images

Russia's atomic energy agency said Monday it will provide up to eight nuclear reactors to South Africa by 2023 in a multi billion Rand strategic partnership between the two countries.

The delivery of the reactors will enable the foundation of the first nuclear power plant based on Russian technology on the African continent, the Rosatom agency said in a statement.

Director general Sergey Kirienko estimated the value of the deal at between R445 to R555 billion, given that one reactor costs around R55 billion, according to the Itar-Tass news agency.

The partnership agreement, signed in Vienna on the margins of the International Atomic Energy Agency conference, also calls for Russia to help build infrastructure in South Africa and train African specialists at Russian universities.

Rosatom will create thousands of jobs in South Africa as part of the deal which will be worth "at least $10 billion dollars [R111 billion]" to local industry, Kirienko said in a statement.

South Africa's Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson said her country sees nuclear power as "an important driver for the national economic growth".

"I am sure that co-operation with Russia will allow us to implement our ambitious plans for the creation by 2030 of 9.6 GW of new nuclear capacities based on modern and safe technologies," she said in a statement.

South Africa currently has only one nuclear power plant. The new Russian reactors are expected to go online in 2023.

Additional reporting by Sowetan LIVE.

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