South Africa venturing into nuclear energy
Mr Yukiya Amano said the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) attaches great importance to their cooperation with South Africa and that the country, through its active participation in the work of the IAEA, is an important contributor.
Mr Amano emphasised that it is up to each country to decide whether or not to introduce nuclear power. He said the IAEA does not attempt to influence countries’ decisions.
Although South Africa is the only African country which is using nuclear power at the moment, several African nations are among approximately 30 countries that are considering introducing nuclear power.
The director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) paid a special visit to the Institutional Office in Potchefstroom on 11 May, where he gave a public lecture.
Mr Yukiya Amano headed the delegation from the Vienna-based IAEA, accompanied by representatives from South Africa’s Department of Energy, National Nuclear Regulator and the South African Nuclear Energy Corporation.
The topic of Mr Amano’s public lecture was “Atoms for peace in the 21st century”. He highlighted the work and projects of the IAEA and said that the agency is active in all crucial areas and challenges. These include the generation of enough energy, tackling climate change, producing enough food to provide for a growing world population and making the benefits of modern health care available to everyone.
“The smart use of nuclear science and technology has much to contribute to solving many of the major problems facing our planet today.”
He said the IAEA promotes international cooperation in the peaceful use of nuclear science and technology.
“The impact of our work to make nuclear science and technology available to generate electricity, improve human and animal health and increase food production is significant.”
The visit gave the NWU the opportunity to showcase its nuclear research and development programmes. These include the Centre for Applied Radiation Science and Technology (CARST), the School of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering’s programmes, nuclear engineering research through the South African Research Chairs Initiative (SARChi) of the Department of Science and Technology (DST)/National Research Foundation (NRF), and collaboration with industry and other universities through the South African Network for Nuclear Education, Science and Technology (SAN-NEST), among others.
* Click here to read the full lecture of Mr Yukiya Amano, director-general of the IAEA.
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