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SA signs up to Russian nuclear projects

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Russian state corporation Rosatom and South Africa’s Department of Energy have signed two Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs): the Memorandum on Co-operation in Training Personnel for the South African Nuclear Power Industry; and the Memorandum on Co-operation in Enhancement of Public Awareness of Nuclear Energy in South Africa.

In accordance with the first document, Russia and South Africa intend to implement several joint projects for education in the nuclear power industry. The countries will co-operate in order to provide training for five categories of specialists for the South African nuclear industry: nuclear power plant (NPP) personnel, engineers and construction workers, staff for operations not related to the power industry, personnel for nuclear infrastructure, students and teachers.

In accordance with this MoU, both parties will strive to realise education programs for 200 South African candidates at Russian universities and educational organisations. This MoU also stipulates the development of educational materials and scientific literature on nuclear power, student exchange programs for students of various levels of training, organisation of internships and summer courses, student competitions and teacher training.

The second MoU stipulates joint efforts of the parties aimed at promoting nuclear power in South Africa, increasing the awareness of local residents of modern nuclear technologies used in the power industry and in other industries, and ensuring public acceptance of nuclear power.

In particular, the parties have agreed to work out a plan for the implementation of a joint communication program to be launched in South Africa. The programme will involve the organisation of round tables and other events aimed at promotion nuclear power and modern nuclear technologies.

Rosatom and the South African Department of Energy will also consider the creation of a Nuclear Energy Information Center in South Africa.

The documents signed are the development of co-operation based on the Intergovernmental Agreement on Strategic Partnership and Cooperation in Nuclear Energy and Industry at the 58th IAEA General Conference in Vienna. Prior to that, on 20 November 2004 the parties concluded an Intergovernmental Agreement on Co-operation in the Peaceful Use of Nuclear Energy.