South Africa Eyes China Nuclear Accord After France Agreement

South Africa will probably sign a nuclear cooperation accord with China next month after agreeing to a similar deal with France yesterday, according to the country’s nuclear energy company.

The framework agreement, a precursor to procurement, will probably be signed in the first week of November, said Xolisa Mabhongo, executive for corporate services at the South African Nuclear Energy Corp. SOC Ltd.

South Africa has now signed accords with France and Russia, and plans agreements with other countries including Japan as it decides on how best to procure as many as 9,600 megawatts of nuclear energy by 2030.

“This is now an opportunity for these countries to make the best case for themselves,” Mabhongo said.

Areva SA, Electricite de France SA, Toshiba Corp.’s Westinghouse Electric Corp., China Guangdong Nuclear Power Holding Corp. and Korea Electric Power Corp. have expressed interest in building the plants.

Russia’s state-owned Rosatom Corp. and the Department of Energy announced a partnership on Sept. 22, saying they had reached an accord that laid the foundation for ordering as many as eight Russian VVER pressurized-water reactors.

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