Necsa’s multi-purpose nuclear reactor is expected to cost R12 billion

Necsa’s general purpose nuclear reactor (MRP) is reported to cost around Rand 12 billion. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2026. The government has just approved the reactor that will replace the current SAFARI-1 reactor. Between 5,000 and 26,000 jobs are expected to be created during the development of the reactor.

Safari-1 is one of the world’s four leading manufacturers of medical radioisotopes, which are used to treat millions of people each year. It also supports medical, agricultural, paleontological and life science scientific research, development and innovation.

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Ntombikhona Mthombeni, a spokesman for Necsa, said the market will confirm the stated cost through a request for information (RFI), which is expected to be released in November.

According to a government statement, the replacement should guarantee that South Africa remains a leader in these disciplines and at the same time benefits from new technologies. Several relevant departments will lead the project, with Necsa being the main customer.

Benefits of the Necsa General Purpose Nuclear Reactor

Necsa’s new multi-purpose nuclear reactor is set to deliver significant social, economic and environmental benefits to the country. During the development of the MPR, the majority of the items are sourced locally, which benefits the local and national economy.

During its operating life, the nuclear reactor will employ approximately 750 full-time workers and an additional 3,800 indirect workers in the NBLC for its operations and research purposes.

According to Necsa, the MPR aims to provide health benefits to the South African population in terms of diagnostic and therapeutic radiopharmaceuticals.

Other industries in South Africa, such as mining and industry, power generation, agriculture, earth sciences, forensics and education, will have access to various new applications that can only be achieved with a high-flux nuclear reactor.

Thanks to the MPR, Necsa will generate novel radioisotopes that are considered to be the future in therapeutic nuclear medicine, opening up a greater variety of production opportunities and promising markets.

This includes developing short-range radioisotopes that are delivered to tumor cells using intelligent delivery devices that radiate cell by cell and eradicate cancer while sparing healthy tissue.

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