Uganda Nuclear Plant to be Constructed as the Country Joins the Race of Becoming a Nuclear Power House in Africa

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In a remarkable step to joining the worldwide nuclear race, Uganda has kicked off its ambitious plans of constructing its very first Uganda Nuclear Plant as the country’s Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development made a statement on Tuesday and mentioned that they are now working closely with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in its ambitious efforts to developing nuclear energy in Uganda as the demand of power in Uganda is constantly on the rise.

According to Irene Batebe, who is the permanent secretary of the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development, said that the Ugandan government with the unending support of the IAEA is currently exploring and evaluating the resources of uranium in order to ensure a sustainable and dependable supply of the nuclear fuel for the upcoming power plants and also the research reactors.

Capacity of the Uganda Nuclear Plant Project

The expected capacity of the nuclear power in this nuclear plant is foreseen to require approximately 4,000 tons of Uranium in a year when it becomes fully operational. This leads to the inevitable need of sustainable sources of Uranium so as to keep the nuclear power plant up and running.

“Uranium is the most widely used mineral as nuclear fuel in nuclear power plants and even in the research reactors. This mineral is required for the nuclear power program of the country,” she mentioned during the opening of the nine-day meeting that was held with the experts from the IAEA.

Current State of Affairs Regarding the Project

Additionally, Irene Batebe revealed that the Ugandan government is currently amending the Atomic Energy Act 2008 which seeks to strengthen and promote the legal framework for the exploration works, mining activities, and also the processing of the nuclear fuel resources. In another scenario, the permanent secretary pointed out the existing source of generating electricity in the country and also measured its total capacity of delivering the long-term energy production targets of Uganda. She stated that the electricity generation potential from the sources of hydropower, biomass, geothermal, and also peat, if developed fully, will not be able to meet the Uganda Vision 2040 targets.

In the previous year, the government of Uganda set up a cabinet that got to adopt the Energy policy for Uganda, 2023 which envisages developing a total of 52, 481MW generation capacity in the long run in order to meet the future energy demands of the country, out of which a total of 24,000MW will be generated from nuclear energy.

Timelines to note Regarding the Project

The government of Uganda has commenced reviewing the country’s Uranium potential ahead of the plan of developing nuclear energy by the year 2031. The review that is being conducted by the Integrated Uranium Production Cycle Review Mission, is set to evaluate the preparedness of Uganda for nuclear energy production in terms of the laws, capacity, reserves, safety, and even the protection of the environment just to mention a few.

According to Mr. Emmanuel Wamala, who is the Ministry of Energy acting commissioner for nuclear fuel and radioactive waste, stated that the country was currently at the exploration stage of the cycle of production, which will eventually lead to a uranium deposit.

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