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SA sends 50 trainees to China for nuclear power plant skills development

South Africa has sent 50 trainees to China for training in nuclear power plant operations in preparation for the imminent procurement of the nuclear-build programme.

Trainees from "major role players" in the industry are set to learn about nuclear power plant engineering, procurement, maintenance and other subjects. The department of energy said that following the conclusion of the nuclear vendor parade workshops and in parallel with work being done in preparation for the commencement of the procurement phase, the first 50 trainees were taking part in training between April and August.

The department indicated that government was responding to the country’s needs for the development of specialised nuclear skills in preparation for the implementation of the expansion of the nuclear programme, which aims to add 9,600MW of capacity to the national grid and have the first reactor unit connected in 2023. The training will take place at the Shanghai Jiao Tong and Tsinghua universities following a skills development co-operation agreement signed between the Nuclear Energy Corporation of SA and China’s State Nuclear Power Technology Company. The training will be in the form of lectures, as well as tours to some of China’s nuclear facilities. In the second phase of the training, SA will be sending 250 trainees to China to be trained at various levels.