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French nuclear won't just 'sell and leave SA' - envoy

Feb 17 2016 21:18
Carin Smith

Cape Town - If France should win a bid to expand South Africa's nuclear footprint, it will not just "come in, sell something and leave, taking the money with it", according to Pascal Colombani, special envoy of France for the French-SA nuclear partnership.

"We believe in partnership and would want SA to obtain total mastery in nuclear by South Africa being involved in the whole process. It is about team work," Colombani said at a media briefing on Tuesday.

He emphasised that France's involvement in SA's nuclear plans would be based on transparency, ethics and compliance.

"We respect our competitors, but feel we are better," he added.

Regarding rumours about a "done deal" on nuclear between SA and Russia, Colombani said that is not what he had been told by senior South African officials.

"I was told that Russia is a serious contender, but that there is no 'done deal' yet," said Colombani.

He explained that the French team is not saying that the Russian nuclear system is bad.

"We are just saying it is different. France already has a successful nuclear partnership with SA on which it can build," he said.

"Koeberg is a very well-kept plant and it is against this background that we will try to leverage. We also want to develop a manufacturing footprint in SA so that the nuclear programme benefits the whole of the South African population."

He emphasised that jobs are not created so much in the building of nuclear plants, but rather in using the electricity produced by these plants.

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france  |  sa economy  |  energy  |  nuclear


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