Whilst nuclear power progress is struggling in South Africa, other African nations are keen to exploit the technology. World Nuclear News has reported that Uganda has sent a delegation to China to learn about nuclear technology and begin talks on cooperation.
Uganda has an electrification rate of 20% since June 2016, meaning there is a need for more power than expanding hydroelectric sites can provide. Uganda’s Vision 2040 roadmap includes the development of 40,000 MW of nuclear energy as part of the future energy mix. Prisca Boonabantu, undersecretary in the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development and leader of the delegation to China, said “Plans have been made in Uganda to have clean and safe energy generation sources with nuclear being one of them.” She added that Uganda welcomes partners to help construct, train and develop nuclear energy in line with International Atomic Energy Agency standards.
Uganda has already signed a Memorandum of Understanding on nuclear energy cooperation with China Central Plains Foreign Engineering Company and China Nuclear Manufacturing Group. This follows a previous Memorandum of Understanding signed between the Ugandan ministry and Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom for cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear.
Uganda has local uranium deposits that it plans to exploit with help from Russia and China. The country is one of many on the African continent recognising the benefits of nuclear power with Kenya, Ghana, Nigeria, Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco, Algeria all engaging with Russia’s Rosatom. As these countries develop, safe, secure and sustainable power provision is key. Nuclear power can help provide the energy needs of Africa and advanced reactors can ensure that the reactors are as safe and cost efficient as possible.