There has been widespread interest in the development of civil nuclear programs in Africa. Nuclear power plants are cheaper to run than their coal or gas rivals even if we factor in spent nuclear fuel management and disposal. Other important advantage is a regularity of nuclear power supply: contrary to renewable source of energy which are dependable on the weather conditions.
Africa, and Sub-Saharan Africa in particular, has never been viewed as a robust market for nuclear power. With the emergence of small modular reactors (SMRs) technology, nuclear increases its chances to be considered as a feasible option to address regional energy needs in a low carbon and stable energy generation with predictable costs.
SMRs offer unique benefits such as easy grid connection, flexibility in terms of placement, multipurpose application and possible integration with renewables. They can be a good alternative to diesel generators providing reliable power supply and preventing harmful emissions at a competitive price. One more advantage is that they offer lower capital investment which can be crucial point while taking a decision of their deployment.
The latest developments of in this area feature Russian RITM series SMR designed for nuclear icebreakers, land-based small NPPs, and floating nuclear power plants. It is based on times proved pressurized water reactor (PWR) technology and Rosatom 400 reactor-years of experience in operation of small modular reactors.