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Uganda pushes for nuclear energy via New Vision

People are not aware that you can use nuclear very peacefully for the well-being of humanity,Museveni said.

KAMPALA – President Yoweri Museveni has said that unless solar becomes a cheaper alternative source of clean energy, Africa and Uganda in particular will have to use nuclear energy to improve the welbeing of its people.

“All rivers in Africa have a potential of about 350mw of electricity and yet the population will grow to about 1.2billion in the next 25 years. The USA uses 1.5 million megawatts equivalent to almost five times of all the rivers in Africa. Unless solar is a cheaper alternative, we shall have to use nuclear. What is important is to master nuclear technology. Already we are training our people in this field,” he said. Uganda has already trained 15 nuclear experts headed by Sarah Nafuna in the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development.

Museveni was meeting the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Yukiya Amano at State House Entebbe on Wednesday.

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“Those who say they have a right to the monopoly of weapons of mass destruction and those who push for nuclear weapons. How can a civilised person talk like that? This doctrine is so provocative and unsustainable. Why would big countries push for monopoly instead of disarmament? I cannot believe that civilised people can be so irrational. For us we just want electricity,” he said.

Museveni said even if the cost of solar energy goes down to four cents or even lower, in some parts of Africa because of the cloud cover, they may not be able to use solar unless the batteries improve for storage.

“Lets be open minded on this. What we want is electricity for our people’s welfare,” he said.

The DG Yukiya Amano said as IAEA, they are doing a lot in making nuclear energy for peaceful use and is already supporting Uganda in implementing projects that use nuclear for peaceful purposes for the wellbeing of the people.

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The minister of State for Energy Simon D’ujanga said the current country programme framework between Uganda and IAEA includes; feasibility studies for nuclear power projects, uranium exploration and evaluation, cancer management, food and agriculture, water resources management and strengthening the national nuclear and radiation safety infrastructure. He said they are also in the process of updating and upgrading the nuclear law to include nuclear power in accordance to acceptable international laws.

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