Venture capitalist aims to spark SA nuclear energy revolution with mini reactors – André Pienaar


Video Details

Small modular nuclear reactors have long been utilised by the US Defence Department in aircraft carriers and submarines. Now, a consortium led by South African venture capitalist André Pienaar aims to introduce mini nuclear reactors to South Africa. In an interview with Biznews, Pienaar, the Founder and CEO of C5 Capital, elaborated on plans to bring this technology to the Western Cape. His initial focus is on supplying energy to data centres in the province. Using analogies from television and film, Pienaar envisions transforming the nuclear energy sector in South Africa from the large and hazardous depictions in The Simpsons to the compact, modular reactors used by Tony Stark in Iron Man for clean energy provision. South Africa, he said, possesses a robust nuclear ecosystem and a well-established regulatory framework for nuclear energy. Pienaar revealed that numerous South African nuclear engineers, some with prior experience at Eskom, have relocated to the United States under the same visa that facilitated Einstein’s immigration. These engineers now contribute to X-Energy, a company in which C5 Capitol holds a significant stake. The plan to introduce mini reactors to South Africa is still in its early stages, he said. The first milestone, a feasibility study, has been completed. The next step for the consortium will be to finalise the financing model and seek regulatory and permitting approvals. Pienaar believes that bringing mini nuclear reactors for power generation to South Africa is a compelling proposition. “This is South Africa’s opportunity to lose because several other countries are moving forward with similar projects,” he said. Pienaar also shares his plans to democratise space and tells the story of how Nelson Mandela placed his trust in “a 26-year-old white Afrikaans kid.” - Linda van Tilburg

Video production by Asime Nyide

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00:08 - Introductions
00:42 - Ander Piennar on the mini nuclear reactors
03:59 - On if the nuclear reactors will be for civilian use
08:14 - On the nuclear project and how far it is from coming to SA
11:59 - How big is it and how much energy will it deliver
16:15 - What is the timeline
17:34 - Would the government be okay with a private company producing nuclear energy
19:35 - On his company CFI Capital and his background in cybersecurity
22:28 - Who is Andre Pienaar
24:15 - Remaining committed to SA
26:27 - Conclusions

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Date Added: 2023-11-10

Category: Energy

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