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Prof Bismark Tyobeka looks at SA’s nuclear future


Johannesburg, 10 Aug 2023
Prof Bismark Tyobeka, NWU Principal and Vice-Chancellor.
Prof Bismark Tyobeka, NWU Principal and Vice-Chancellor.

You don’t have to be able to split the atom to know that South Africa – and the world – is facing an energy crisis and that urgent answers are needed to address this pressing problem.

That is why the principal and vice-chancellor of the North-West University (NWU), Prof Bismark Tyobeka, will be part of a panel discussion titled Global Nuclear Power – Implications for South Africa’s Just Energy Transition.

Prof Tyobeka, renowned as a nuclear expert, has held the position of CEO of the National Nuclear Regulator (NNR) of South Africa and plays a major role in various initiatives of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

His contribution in the global arena includes serving in the IAEA’s International Advisory Committees on Nuclear Safety (INSAG) and as vice-chairperson of both the International Nuclear Regulatory Cooperation Forum (RCF) and the Forum for Nuclear Regulatory Bodies in Africa (FNRBA).

He was also recently appointed as a member of the Nuclear Engineering Advisory Council (NEDAC) at North Carolina State University (NCSU) in the USA.

The panel discussion will be held at the Wallenberg Research Centre, in Stellenbosch, and will focus on how various countries incorporate nuclear energy as a power source. This is especially relevant as the South African government has indicated its intention to issue a formal request for proposals before the end of 2023 for the procurement and construction of 2 500MW of new nuclear power, for start-up in the early to mid-2030s.

In addition to Prof Tyobeka, the panel will include Prof Mark Swilling from the University of Stellenbosch and Jesse Burton from the University of Cape Town. These experts will discuss the many sectors in South Africa directly involved in and affected by the national power system. 

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