South Africa

South-Africa-(1).pngAs of 31 December 2022

South Africa has a single nuclear power plant at Koeberg, 30 km north of Cape Town. The plant’s two reactors, connected to the grid in 1984 and 1985, have a combined capacity of 1854 MWe.

In July 2022 Eskom submitted the safety case to extend the plant's operating lifetime by 20 years beyond its current licence term of 40 years, to 2045.

In February 2023 South African President Cyril Ramaphosa declared a national 'state of disaster' to tackle the electricity crisis in the country. The declaration enabled the government to take practical measures to address the economic damage caused by debilitating electricity shortages.

South Africa faces capacity challenges with the refuelling and the replacement of three steam generators at Koeberg 1, the first of which was removed in March 2023, after the unit entered a refuelling and maintenance outage in December 2022. Unit 1 was expected to remain out of service until June 2023. The steam generators of unit 2 are also planned to be replaced in the later part of 2023. With Koeberg 1 being offline, along with the extended outage of three units at the Kusile coal-fired power station, South Africa's power system was severely constrained in mid-2023, with the prospect of a high risk of load-shedding during the winter months of June, July and August.

Figure SA1. Annual electricity output (TWh) and age of reactors (years) at time of generation


Figure SA2. Average capacity factor of reactors in South Africa


Figure SA3. Emissions avoidance through use of nuclear generation in South Africa


Eskom submits safety case to extend Koeberg’s operation : World Nuclear News - 28 July 2022

Koeberg license extension needed to ensure system stability, says Eskom report : World Nuclear News - 8 November 2022

South Africa faces winter loadshedding as Koeberg outage continues : World Nuclear News - 19 May 2023