IAEA Director General Visits South Africa

Director General Yukiya Amano with South African Deputy President, Mr. Kgalema Petru Motlanthe (centre), and Minister for Energy, Ms. Dipuo Peters (right). (Photo: C. Brady/IAEA)

Director General Yukiya Amano visited South Africa from 7 to 10 February 2013. During his visit he met South African Deputy President, Mr. Kgalema Petru Motlanthe, as well as with Minister for Energy, Ms. Dipuo Peters, and had the opportunity to discuss plans for the expansion of the nuclear power programme in South Africa, as well as the strengthening of cooperation between South Africa and the IAEA. The Director General also met with senior officials from various Government Departments and Agencies, including the National Nuclear Regulator.

The Director General visited the facilities of the South African Nuclear Energy Corporation of (NECSA). This included a tour of the SAFARI-1, the 20 Megawatt research reactor, where the Director General was briefed on the upgrading of neutron beam line facilities, which is being supported through an IAEA technical cooperation project.

The Director General's visit coincided with a visit by an Integrated Nuclear Infrastructure Review (INIR) mission in South Africa from 30 January to 8 February. He commented that South Africa's request for an INIR mission was a clear demonstration of the Government's commitment to nuclear safety and transparency in advancing its plans for the expansion of its nuclear programme.

The IAEA's INIR missions are designed to assist Member States, at their request, in assessing the status of their national infrastructure for the introduction of a national nuclear power programme. Each INIR mission is coordinated by the IAEA and conducted by a team of international experts drawn from different Member States, who have experience in different aspects of developing and deploying nuclear infrastructure.

While in Johannesburg, the Director General also spoke at the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) on the Future of Nuclear Energy Post Fukushima.

On his final day, Mr. Amano visited the Koeberg Nuclear Power Plant, just outside Cape Town, the only nuclear power station in Africa. Mr. Amano was briefed by Eskom Chief Executive, Mr. Brian Dames, and toured the facility.

Mr. Amano had a number of press interviews during his visit, including by the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC).

Last update: 2 November 2014