Uganda Starts Reviewing Uranium Potential Ahead Of Nuclear Energy Production- State Minister Nyamutoro

By Zulfa Namatovu

In Munyonyo

Government has started reviewing Uganda’s uranium potential ahead of the planned development of  nuclear energy by 2031, Sate Minister for Minerals, Phiona Nyamutoro has said.

She was speaking at the opening of the week long International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Integrated uranium Production Cycle Review (IUPCR) mission for Uganda at Munyonyo Resort hotel .

The  peer review mission is aimed at evaluating and enhancing national regulatory, operational, social, environmental and safety performance throughout all the phases of the uranium production cycle.

IAEA head of mission Adrienne Hindley, State Minister Nyamutoro and PS Eng. Batebe

“ Energy is a key driver for socio-economic transformation and Government of Uganda is committed to ensuring universal access of clean and reliable energy for all by 2040. Nuclear power offers many advantages, such as a reliable, clean and stable energy supply for increased industrialisation and socio-economic development,” Nyamutoro stated .

She explained that with the growing energy demand mainly for key infrastructural developments such as the standard gauge railway; e-mobility and e-cooking, the government of Uganda seeks to utilise the hydropower potential on its rivers in the short and medium term but equally explore the very potent nuclear power option.

She told the delegates that energy policy for Uganda 2023, envisages the development of 52,481MWe generation capacity in the long term to meet the future energy demands of which 24,000MWe has been earmarked for nuclear power.

“In line with this development, several undertakings are being implemented to prepare for introducing nuclear power into the electricity generation mix. These include the amendment of the Atomic Energy Act, 2008 to strengthen legal and institutional framework, human resources development, and development of the uranium production program, among others,” she added .

Speaking at the same event , moderated by the Head of Communication at the Ministry , Dr. Patricia Litho ,the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Energy , Eng. Irene Batebe, said that Uganda’s  planned nuclear power capacity will require about 4,000 tons of uranium annually when fully operational . thus, there is need for sustainable sources of uranium .

“Therefore , government of Uganda with support from IAEA is exploring and evaluating uranium sources to ensure sustainable supply of nuclear fuel for the planned nuclear power plants and research reactors,” Batebe stated .

Mr Emmanuel Wamala, the Ministry of Energy Acting Commissioner for nuclear fuel and radioactive waste, said Uganda was still at the exploration stage of the production cycle, which will lead to a uranium deposit.

“We have engaged the International Atomic Energy Agency in different stages. They have been with us from the time we started exploration and they have guided us through capacity building, supply of equipment and also making sure that we have reviews,” he said, noting that the review mission looks at four phases after exploration leading to the uranium production cycle phase, which entails the construction of a uranium mine and a processing facility.

At the exploration phase, government has so far identified uranium anomalies, which should be qualified and quantified before the production phase.

Mr Wamala indicated that a nuclear power plant of 1,000 megawatts requires about 1,14 tons of uranium, which means that the 24,000 megawatts if they are all operational, will need about 4,000 tons, noting that government would only be sure of its resource capacity after going through the exploration stage.

“Once we discover the deposit, we shall then use these resources for the nuclear power programme,” he said.


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