S. Africa has opportunity for nuclear entrepreneurs

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He sees a race between “the ability of the companies to acquire new contracts … and the ability of the international community to develop new standards.”

Ms. Peters said she will not be rushed to sign contracts because safety is a top priority.

She also said South Africa is interested not just in building new reactors, but in developing an entire cycle, from mining more of its uranium resources to disposing of nuclear waste.

That presents a range of opportunities for foreign companies, as well as the possibility of South Africa one day exporting its own nuclear technology.

Ms. Peters has faced challenges from a nascent South African anti-nuclear movement and powerful labor unions concerned she is not choosing the energy options that will create the most jobs.

“We, as South Africa, are convinced that we need an energy mix,” Ms. Peters said. “We cannot discard any technology.”

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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