The National Research Foundation (NRF) and National Nuclear Regulator’s (NNR) Centre of Excellence for Nuclear Safety and Security (CNSS) have concluded a strategic partnership agreement aimed at strengthening the development of critical nuclear safety and security skills in the nuclear energy sector; develop joint collaborative research programmes (at national and international level); co-fund bursaries for Master’s and PhD students from disadvantaged backgrounds; and enable the development of innovative solutions to address challenges in nuclear safety and security within the nuclear energy sector.
This partnership is an opportunity for the NRF and NNR to play a significant role in facilitating the development of critical skills in the nuclear energy sector and increase socio-economic impact and the development of critical human capacity to address energy challenges in South Africa. The partnership is concluded at a critical time as South Africa strives to respond to energy and climate change challenges, amongst many other national priorities, and will play a critical role in building a pipeline of expertise to address these challenges in the country and the African region.
“This partnership provides an overarching framework to support research opportunities for researchers, academics and regulators to find solutions to nuclear safety and security challenges facing the country. To support this, the NRF will contribute more than its funding and granting system to the partnership but will also provide programmatic activities that focus on research, development and training in the field of nuclear science through its NRF-iThemba LABS facility,” says Dr Angus Paterson, NRF Acting Deputy CEO: National Research Infrastructure Platforms.
Ms Ditebogo Kgomo, Chief Executive Officer of NNR, highlighted that, “The NNR identified the NRF as a strategic partner for the purposes of fostering collaborative activities in nuclear safety and security and provide a platform for the development of a pipeline of skills and research capacity needed to enable informed regulatory decision making backed by credible scientific research in the nuclear sector”.