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Uganda has set an ambiguous energy production target to see nuclear energy become part of its national grid by 2050 in order to reduce the country’s electricity deficit
The National Planning Authority (NPA) vice-chairperson, Dr Abel Rwendeire, noted that while there are ongoing hydropower developments, harnessing the complete potential of Uganda’s rivers would still generate less than 10,000 MW, which is would not meet the high energy demands of a rapidly increasing population.
Rwendeire explained that steps in acquiring the human resource is an on-going project, but one that is supported and guided by the Nuclear Energy Council Act 2008.
Uganda President Yoweri Museveni said, “In the long run, we are going to develop nuclear energy using our abundant uranium.”
Museveni added, however, “Nobody will export uranium from Uganda as long as I am the president of this country. Why should we donate fuel to light the neighbour’s house while ours is in darkness? We are training our scientists in nuclear energy for peaceful purposes”.
Despite the viable quantities of uranium deposits in the republic, Uganda does not intend to build a nuclear reactor. Instead it plans to enter into partnerships with countries that have the requisite technology, in order to enrich uranium from which nuclear rods for local power generation will be procured.
The planned nuclear development is a core component of the NRM government’s industrialisation strategy, which seeks to transform the East Africa nation into a modern and prosperous country.
Currently Uganda has one of world’s lowest electricity consumption rates at 69.5 kWh per capital, which is significantly lower than the global average of 2,752 kWh per capita.
Furthermore, according to the NPA, 11 per cent of Ugandans have access to electricity, while electricity is available to 15 per cent of Kenyans.
Moses Kalisa Seruwagi