Nuclear power generation is not the most cost-effective option for South Africa’s energy future, Business Day reported on Thursday, citing a report by a team of advisors to the energy minister.

South Africa has earmarked atomic expansion as a key part of raising its power generation but the price tag of up to 1 trillion rand ($74 billion) for 9.6 gigawatts of nuclear power has raised concerns over whether the plan is affordable.

The ministerial advisory committee on energy was set up by energy minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson to analyse the draft blueprint, or Integrated Resource Plan (IRP), on future energy generation.

“A least-cost effective IRP model, free of any artificial constraints and before any policy adjustments, does not include any new nuclear power generators,” Business Day quoted the report as saying.

The spokeswoman for the energy department Thandiwe Maimane did not respond to three phone call requests for comment.

The energy minister has said that Africa’s most indistrialised country will delay tendering for new nuclear power stations after requests for consultation and discussion made it impossible to start the process by the end of September as initially planned.