A risk based view on building a sustainable nuclear electricity industry in South Africa
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This paper introduces a Nuclear Sustainability Risk Model, which reflects a proposed strategy for ensuring the sustainability of a nuclear electricity industry for South African in the long term. The model is used to illustrate the interrelationships between economic, engineering and social considerations. The strategy employed in this paper considers the risks from a systems thinking approach. This strategy is derived based on reviews performed on the lessons learnt from South African projects, Medupi and Kusile, and of recent nuclear power plant constructions internationally. Although the South African study is not nuclear specific, it is performed to obtain a better understanding of some of the regional and national challenges for major plant constructions that would require mitigation strategies. The lessons learnt from these projects were consolidated and related to a possible nuclear new build program terms of potential risks. The risks identified are categorized as higher level risks that affect the integrity of the model and seen as country wide issues that would affect major plant constructions in South Africa (macroeconomic risks) and medium term strategic project risks which could or would directly affect the anticipated outcome of a nuclear construction program in South Africa. The identified risks and areas for consideration are explained and the potential mitigation strategies are proposed.