May 23, 2014

Uganda Runs To India For Nuclear Options

Reports reaching our desk reveals Water and Environment Minister Ephraim Kamuntu is in touch with Asian giant Indian as plans to exploit Uganda’s known uranium deposits in a new nuclear programme aimed at meeting growing demand for electricity start.
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The country has approached nuclear power-house India for technical advice on how to use its uranium reserves and invest in a nuclear power generation facility.

“We are keen on mutually beneficial cooperation with India to develop our energy resources,” says Water and Environment Minister Ephraim Kamuntu, adding: “Uganda is sitting on a pile of uranium and intends to ride on India’s know-how and expertise to exploit the uranium and use it for electricity generation.”

This comes soon after Uganda’s launch of an energy production programme aimed at ensuring that nuclear energy becomes part of the country’s energy mix by 2050.

Five-Year Framework Agreement
About six months ago, the Uganda signed a five-year framework agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) for the safe application of nuclear technologies.

The framework focuses on feasibility studies for nuclear power projects, uranium exploration and evaluation, cancer management, food and agriculture, water resource management and strengthening the national nuclear and radiation safety infrastructure.

Notably, the framework agreement opened the door for Uganda to exploits its uranium reserves for electricity generation in efforts to address perennial energy challenges and meet growing demand.

Surveys
Surveys by the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development show there are about 52 000 km2 of uranium deposits in various parts of Uganda. They include 18 000 km2 in the Buganda and Tooro regions, 12 000 km2 in Karagwe-Ankole and 22 000 km2 in the extensive Lake Albert region.

According to Kamuntu, Uganda is determined to increase its energy generation capacity to achieve the status of a middle-income country, provide universal access to electricity and power its industrial sector to alleviate poverty. Currently, only 14% of the country’s 32-million people have access to electricity, while the total installed capacity stands at 682 MW, compared with peak demand of 595 MW.

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