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“Little old South Africa is kicking our butt with its development of the PBMR. This should be a wake up call for the US.” Syd Ball, Snr Researcher, Oak Ridge Laboratory, 11 June 2004 . Agenda. World Nuclear Industry Relative Radiation Exposure Relative Environmental Impact PBMR Plant Design

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“Little old South Africa is kicking our butt with its development of the PBMR. This should be a wake up call for the US.”

Syd Ball, Snr Researcher, Oak Ridge Laboratory, 11 June 2004

  • World Nuclear Industry
  • Relative Radiation Exposure
  • Relative Environmental Impact
  • PBMR Plant Design
  • Why PBMR in RSA?
  • Market Outside RSA
  • World Comments on PBMR
current status
Current Status
  • Resurgence in Europe and USA
    • New orders in Finland & France
    • Bulgarian gov’t approval for 2 new reactors (May 05)
    • UK policy moving towards a 10+ reactor build programme
    • USA consortium selecting two sites to apply for construction licenses
  • Continuing Construction including
    • Japan 3 reactors under construction
    • India 9 reactors under construction
    • Russia 4 reactors under construction
  • Major Build Programme in China
    • 5 fold increase from 9 current operating reactors to 40+ by 2020
chinese potential
Chinese Potential?
  • Added 50GW in 2004
  • Plan to add 60+GW in 2005
  • Plan to add 36GW of PWR in next 15 years
  • Plan to construct 1 + 18 HTR-PM

(PBMR type design)

  • China ordered two more reactors on 18 May 2005
countries currently expressing intention to build new nuclear power programmes include
Countries currently expressing intention to build new nuclear power programmes include….

* In addition to existing nuclear plants


Background Radiation Levels

Figure adapted from Health Research Foundation, Kyoto, Japan with permission

short term fatalities 1970 1992
Short Term Fatalities(1970-1992)

(*would be 10x higher if accidents with less than 5 deaths included)

BALL D.S. et al. An Analysis of Electricity Generators Health Risks, Res. Rep. No. 20, WHO, Norwich (1994)

HIRSCHBERG S., et al., Severe Accidents in the Energy Sector, Paul Scherer Institute, Villigen (1996)

plant fundamentals
Plant Fundamentals
  • High Temperature Helium Cooled Reactor
  • Coated Particle Fuel
  • Spherical Fuel Elements (as per German reactors)
  • Direct Cycle Gas Turbine
  • No “safety systems”
    • fuel integrity maintained under most severe possible accident (full control rod removal from 100% power followed by pipe rupture and loss of all cooling).


























Coastal demand

is 34% of total demand

but coastal generation

is only 6% of total capacity.


Koeberg PS


East London

Cape Town

Port Elizabeth

the pbmr s 10 unique features
The PBMR’s 10 Unique Features
  • It is inherently safe
  • It is small
  • It is modular
  • It can be built almost anywhere
  • It is cost competitive
  • It is environmentally friendly (no CO2)
  • It generates very little waste
  • It has a short construction lead-time
  • It has fast load-following characteristics
  • It is a South African project with global impact
pbmr vision
PBMR Vision

To be the preferred global provider of standardised nuclear energy systems, fuel and life-cycle support

PBMR Mission

To successfully build and commission a pilot fuel and a demonstration nuclear reactor by 2011.

To develop the business through the selling, building and commissioning of commercial nuclear power plants and fuel plants internationally

pbmr values
PBMR Values






Pride in what we do and how we do it

Doing things right & doing the right things the “PBMR Way”

PBMR people and technology

A delivery mindset

Being and working as a team

The team is more than the individual

Cooperation, synergy, loyalty and commitment

Developing others

Providing each other with the means and information we need

Identifying weaknesses and opportunities and teaching ourselves and others to fill needs

Promoting employment equity

Integer: a whole unit; Integrate: join to the whole; Integral: forming part of the whole – honesty; sincerity; consistency; soundness; challenging; inherent strength; respect for others, for safety and for the environment

pbmr company goals
PBMR Company Goals
  • Successfully commission a demonstration plant
  • Successfully commission a fuel manufacturing plant & manufacturequalified pebble fuel
  • Create a professional company infrastructure and workforce
  • Establish secure supply-chain
  • Obtain US design certification
  • Achieve sales plan (as per Information Memorandum)
  • Develop a formidable international image supported by successful project delivery
  • Facilitate national capacity skills development and local manufacturing
  • Identify, develop and maintain our competitive lead
key strategies
Key Strategies
  • Standardisation
  • Small Size
  • Simple Systems
  • Internationalise
  • 2004 Helium Test Facility Construction Start
  • 2005 SAR Submitted to Eskom
  • 2006 Long Lead Orders
  • 2006 Pre-production fuel into test
  • 2007 Start Plant Erection On site
  • 2009 Physical Completion of Demo
  • 2010 Load Fuel & Startup
  • 2010 Long Lead Orders for Commercial Plants
  • 2011 Hand Over to Eskom of Demo
  • 2013 Hand Over of first Commercial PBMR
world electricity generation
World Electricity Generation
  • Doubled in 20 years or over 3% per year average
  • Equates to some 600 PBMRs per year

16% Nuclear

global nuclear cumulative growth
Global Nuclear Cumulative Growth

As at May 2004

15 years

~1500 PBMRs

socio economic impact of 100 pbmrs conningarth economists 2004 prices
Socio-Economic Impact of 100 PBMRs(Conningarth Economists, 2004 prices)
  • Impact on GDP
    • Demo Reactor R1.5bn (ave. over 5 years)
    • Commercial Reactors R7.9bn (ave. over 20 years)
  • Impact on Employment (Direct & Indirect)
    • Demo Reactor 14,610 (ave. over 5 years)
    • Commercial Reactors 56,696 (ave. over 20 years)
  • Impact on Gov’t Revenue
    • Demo Reactor R1.9bn (total over 5 years)
    • Commercial Reactors R38.6bn (total over 20 years)
  • Net Positive Impact on Balance of Payments
    • Demo Reactor R2.3bn (total over 5 years)
    • Commercial Reactors R23.9bn (total over 20 years)
quotes on nuclear i

Quotes on nuclear I

“Little old South Africa is kicking our butt with its development of the PBMR. This should be a wake up call for the US.” Syd Ball, Snr Researcher Oak Ridge Laboratory, 11 June 2004

“The long term future of reactors belongs to very high temperature reactors such as the PBMR.” Nials Diaz, Chairman of the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission July 2004

“I think we made a mistake in halting the HTR programme.” Klaus Topfer, Germany’s former Minister of Nuclear Power and Environment. Davos, January 2003

“The PBMR technology could revolutionise how atomic energy is generated over the next several decades. It is one of the near-term technologies that could change the energy market.” Prof. Andrew Kadak, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Jan. 2002

“It will be impossible for the EU to deliver its commitments under the Kyoto Protocol without further investment in nuclear power.” EU Energy Commissioner Loyola de Palacio 29 Sept 2003

quotes on nuclear ii

Quotes on nuclear II

“We have no time to experiment with visionary energy sources; civilization is in imminent danger and has to use nuclear, the one safe, available energy source, now, or suffer the pain soon to be inflicted by our outraged planet." James Lovelock, creator of the Gaia hypothesis, Independent 24 May 2004.

"Areva is interested in assisting in the production of a prototype reactor and is negotiating an investment in South Africa's pebble bed modular reactor." -- France's Foreign Trade Minister, Francois Loos, in the Sunday Times Business Times, 22 May 2005

"The generation IV pebble-bed reactors being developed in China and South Africa get attention for their meltdown-proof designs. But it's their low capital cost and potential for fast, modular construction that could blow the game open, as surely as the PC did for computing. At $300 million a pop for safe, clean energy, watch the floodgates open around the world." -- Wired Magazine, Feb 2005

"More than 100 wind turbines are needed to replace a single pebble bed modular reactor. Other 'soft energy' sources have similar problems. They cannot replace the clean, safe, abundant, inexpensive power at South Africa's fingertips". -- Rod Adams, editor, Atomic Insights, US.

final thought
Final Thought

France added over 25,000MW of new nuclear plant within 10 years of deciding to “go nuclear” (1974-1984)

(Eskom current total capacity is ~36,000MW)