SOUTH AFRICA: Developing nuclear energy skills

From Professor James Larkin

With regard to Alison Moodie's piece "Universities prepare for a nuclear future", I should like to correct the impression that the Nuclear Industry Association of South Africa (Niasa) is a research body. Rather, it is an industry organisation established to champion the cause of nuclear power here in South Africa.

As a member of the education sub-committee of Niasa I am responsible for the collection of all the relevant data regarding the current skills development at a tertiary level and the picture painted by Moodie's article is perhaps somewhat more pessimistic than the reality. For all that though, the points made regarding inter-university cooperation remain completely valid.

There are in fact a number of courses being presented by tertiary institutions within South Africa. We all eagerly await the announcement from the government as to the future of nuclear power in South Africa and believe it offers a broad spectrum of opportunity for skills development in the Southern African region.

* Professor James Larkin is Director of the Radiation and Health Physics Unit at the University of the Witwatersrand.