Rosatom's fuel company TVEL and the South African Atomic Energy Corporation (Necsa) have signed a memorandum of understanding to cooperate in the manufacture of nuclear fuel and its components. Both companies aim to combine existing competencies in this area and to further interaction to develop relevant capabilities.

“The memorandum denotes the obligations of Necsa and TVEL to strengthen bilateral cooperation in the field of the use of atomic energy for peaceful purposes,” said Necsa General Director Loyiso Tyabashe. “This is especially important for South Africa, as it opens up the possibility of recreating the production capacity for the manufacture and supply of nuclear fuel. I am confident that this cooperation will expand the technological capabilities of both parties and strengthen the long-term mutually beneficial partnership in the field of nuclear technology.”

TVEL Senior Vice President for Commerce & International Business Oleg Grigoriev said Necsa is one of the most experienced companies in the global nuclear industry with a wide range of competencies. “We are convinced that our cooperation with such a respected partner will make a significant contribution to increasing the sustainability of global nuclear generation.”

State-owned Necsa is responsible for the management of radiation sources, including uranium enrichment, as well as conducting scientific research in the field of nuclear energy and radiology. It cooperates locally and internationally with other organisations on nuclear and related issues to promote the social and economic development of South Africa. In addition to its core business in Pelindaba, which includes the operation of the SAFARI-1 research reactor, Necsa also operates the Vaalputs National Radioactive Waste Disposal Facility at the Northern Cape. On behalf of the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy, the company oversees nuclear safeguards on behalf of the South African government. Necsa conducts research using the SAFARI-1 reactor and has advanced capabilities in the production of radioisotopes.

Necsa does business primarily through its commercial subsidiaries, such as NTP Radioisotopes Ltd, one of the world's top four producers of medical isotopes for cancer diagnosis and treatment. Pelchem ​​ Ltd is a second subsidiary that supplies fluorine and fluorine products. Both companies, together with their subsidiaries, supply products to local and foreign markets.

Image: The SAFARI-1 research reactor (courtesy of Necsa)