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Russia, South Africa Sign Nuclear-Power Deal

Rosatom chief Sergei Kiriyenko said the partnership deal will provide up to eight nuclear reactors to South Africa by 2023.

Russia and South Africa have signed a multibillion-dollar deal on nuclear-power cooperation that paves the way for the building of reactors based on Russian technology.

The agreement was signed on the sidelines of an International Atomic Energy Agency conference in Vienna on September 22.

Sergei Kiriyenko, director-general of Russia's nuclear energy corporation Rosatom, said in a statement that the partnership deal will provide up to eight nuclear reactors to South Africa by 2023.

Kiriyenko said it would also create orders worth $10 billion to "local industrial enterprises," but it was not clear if he was referring to Russia or South Africa.

The agreement also calls for Russia to help build infrastructure in South Africa and train local specialists at Russian universities.

In a separate statement, South African Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson said the agreement "opens up the door for South Africa to access Russian technologies, funding, infrastructure, and provides proper and solid platform for future extensive collaboration."

Joemat-Pettersson expressed confidence that cooperation with Russia will allow South Africa "to implement our ambitious plans for the creation by 2030 of 9.6 GW [gigawatts] of new nuclear capacities based on modern and safe technologies."

China Guangdong Nuclear Power Holding Corp, Japan's Toshiba Corp, and Korea Electric Power Corp are among the firms that have been reported as showing interest in securing the nuclear partnership agreement.

South Africa is home to one nuclear power station.

In December 2013, Africa's most advanced economy said it might delay the construction of nuclear power plants and focus instead on coal, hydropower, and gas.

With reporting by AFP and Reuters
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