Minister Okaasai flags-off Uranium exploration program in Sembabule

By Our Reporters

in Sembabule

State Minister for Energy, Hon. Okaasai S. Opolot has officially launched the exploration and evaluation of the country ‘s nuclear resources. The launch took place at the Sembabule district headquarters and the exercise will be carried out in various various districts.

Minister Okassai said that Uganda is committed to explore and exploit its natural resources including nuclear to boost its its electricity generation capacity. He noted that uranium is needed for the sustainable development of Uganda’s Nuclear Power Program.

“The launch will kickstart the exploration process to evaluate the status of uranium prospects, starting with the areas of Kyambogo, Lwansala and Kyataba B in Sembabule district,” Okasai stated adding that studies have identified prospects of uranium with the potential of hosting economically viable volumes in the districts of Sembabule, Buhweju, Gomba, Kiboga, Mbarara, Hoima, Kabarole, Kamwenge, Iganga and Tororo.”

He said the government would undertake a detailed exploration and evaluation to quantify the nuclear resources that will guide a national strategy for supplying nuclear fuel for the planned nuclear power plants.

Okasai called upon the local communities in Sembabule to support and cooperate with the government teams who are undertaking the exploration activities that will include pitting, trenching and drilling to document and establish the uranium prospects in the area.

Hon. Okaasai , explained that the Nuclear Power Programme was critical to the government’s realisation of meeting a total installed capacity of 52,000MW of electricity by 2040 to ensure energy security for industrialization.

“Several undertakings are being implemented to prepare for introducing nuclear power into the electricity generation mix. The government wants to produce at least 24,000MW of nuclear power capacity to be developed by 2040.”

The Member of Parliament for Lwemiyaga County-Ssembabule district Theodore Ssekikubo said utmost caution is needed when harnessing Uganda’s nuclear resources because of its risk potential. He also appealed to the government to consider putting a vocational institute for the skilling of the locals in Sembabule.

The District Chairperson, Patrick Nkalubo, said Sembabule is one of the luckiest districts in the country for such a discovery to have been made there. “We shall support the government programmes in this area.”

The Minister was accompanied by a technical team of geologists and nuclear scientists from the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development led by Ms Sarah Nafuna (Ag. Commissioner, Nuclear Energy Department .

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