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energy|exploration|industrial|infrastructure|nuclear|power|safety|sustainable|technology|training|infrastructure

IAEA expert team in Uganda to support country’s uranium production plans

20th May 2024

By: Rebecca Campbell

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor

     

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A specialist expert mission of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is currently in Uganda to undertake a review connected with the East African country’s nuclear energy ambitions, specialist news agency World Nuclear News reports. Uganda plans to construct 24 000 MWe of nuclear energy capacity, and has selected Russian and South Korean companies to each build a nuclear power plant (NPP) in the country. These two NPPs will have a combined capacity of 15 000 MW.

The IAEA team visiting the country is an Integrated Uranium Production Cycle Review (IUPCR) mission. This type of mission serves to help IAEA member countries develop infrastructure for their own uranium production programmes, across all the stages of the uranium production cycle.

“Uganda’s plans to develop [NPPs] with a total output of 24 000 MW will require nuclear fuel,” pointed out Energy and Minerals Development Minister of State Phiona Nyamutoro, on the social media platform X (Twitter). “To this effect, uranium exploration is ongoing in the country with the aim of discovering uranium deposits for sustainable nuclear fuel supply.”

The IAEA IUPCR mission has been sent to the country at the request of the Ugandan government. The mission will provide independent safety reviews based on IAEA safety standards. It will also provide technical guidance and transfer international good practices. Further, it provides opportunities for Ugandan officials and experts to have detailed discussions with international experts regarding uranium production cycle-specific operational, regulatory and legal experiences and best practices.

“[Uganda] also plans to establish a centre for Nuclear Science and Technology for nuclear education, training [and] research,” she also tweeted. This “will require uranium for production of radioisotopes for industrial and medical applications.” (This centre will probably host the research reactor that the country is also planning to acquire.)

The development of nuclear energy forms part of the country’s Vision 2024 roadmap. This was originally released in 2013. In May 2022, it was announced that the government had secured the land on which an NPP would be built. Last August was when the selection of Russian and South Korean NPP vendors was announced. And the uranium exploration programme was initiated in November, in the country’s Buhweju district.   

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter

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