Uganda to Produce Nuclear Energy by 2031 – President Museveni
By Sierra Ruth Arinaitwe
President Yoweri Museveni has said that Uganda should be able to produce at least 1000MW of nuclear energy from the planned 2000MW nuclear power plant in Buyende by 2031.
This development follows the approval of Uganda’s Nuclear Power Programme by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) which evaluated the status of nuclear infrastructure development in Uganda.
Museveni acknowledged that the development of nuclear power will supplement Uganda’s electricity requirement which is projected at 100,000MW in the coming years due to the ever-increasing population, economic growth, and rising social needs that require sustainable development of the country’s energy resources.
The President made the remarks during the official opening of the second Africa Nuclear Business Platform 2023 which was hosted by Uganda’s Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development at Speke Resort Munyonyo. The well attended platform attracted delegations from 23 african countries and other delgates came from Asia , Europe, North America and South America.
According to the President, the development of nuclear energy was ignited by the severe drought which resulted into reduced water levels in the river Nile thus affecting hydropower generation in the Owen falls dam in 2005.
“This prompted me to direct the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development to diversify the country’s energy mix by developing all the available to resources to address the country’s electricity needs,” he said adding that for this reason, he halted the exploitation of Uganda’s uranium which is going to support the development of nuclear power in the country.
Museveni noted that the option of nuclear is not only clean affordable source of energy whose cost is estimated to be as low as 4 US cents per kilowatt.
The Deputy Director General and Head of Nuclear Energy, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Mikhail Chudakov recommended that Uganda should now concentrate on development of human resource to run the country’s nuclear power industry.
The Minister of State for Energy Hon. Okaasai Opolot noted that about 20 young graduates were sent in countries such as UK, South Korea, Egypt, Ghana and China which are well versed with nuclear power development for further studies. Upon their return, these graduates supported the development of the nuclear power roadmap.
The Minister further noted that the Atomic Energy Act 2008 is now under review and a draft nuclear bill has been presented to the Cabinet subcommittee to strengthen the implementation of the nuclear power programme.
Okaasai said that nuclear power has been identified as a reliable and stable form of energy which will support industrialization and development of the health sector among others in country.
The government of Uganda represented by the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development has now partnered with Soroti University to set up a Centre for Nuclear Science to provide training and research in nuclear science in the country.
At the same event, the Ministry of Energy also signed an MOU with INVAP company to develop, equip and maintain the center for Nuclear Science at Soroti University.
Another memorandum of understanding was also signed with the Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power Company Limited to develop nuclear power plants in Uganda.
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