Museveni: Uganda needs nuclear for power not weapons

President Museveni flanked by elite security guards in Agago District on May 5, 2022 .PHOTO/PPU

What you need to know:

  • Uganda has so far trained 22 people at the level of Master’s degree in nuclear science. 

President Museveni has said Uganda and Africa in general is interested in nuclear power (electricity) and not nuclear weapons. 

“For us, we want that power for electricity, for agriculture and not for nuclear weapons,” he said.

President Museveni was speaking during a meeting with a delegation from the International Atomic Energy Agency, led by the director of Division of Nuclear Power for Africa, Ms Aline Des Cloizeaux, who was accompanied by Mikhail Chudakov,  the deputy Director General and head of the Department of Nuclear Energy and Mehmet Ceyhan from the same agency.

The meeting, which was attended by the State Minister for Energy, Mr Okasai Sidronius Opolot, took place on Monday at State House, Entebbe.

According to a brief to the President, Uganda has so far trained 22 people at the level of Master’s degree in nuclear science. 

Mr Museveni said the country would soon start a school that will train the lower cadres in the field of atomic energy and thereafter, embark on building the first ever Atomic Energy plant in Uganda.

“I am glad that you are satisfied that we are doing what is required,” Mr Museveni said, adding that the reason Uganda is going for nuclear energy is because the hydropower sources are not sufficient. 

Ms Aline Des Cloizeaux, the director of Division of Nuclear Power for Africa, handed over to the President a mission report on the Integrated Nuclear Infrastructure Review (INIR), phase one.

Ms Des Cloizeaux commended Uganda’s cooperation during the first phase. 

“The first phase, we have concluded that Uganda is ready for the plant. We in the agency, we are ready for all the support through training etc. so that the project becomes reality,” she said.

She said the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has come up with recommendations for Uganda to start the building and production of nuclear power. 

Ms Aline commended Uganda’s commitment to building and producing nuclear power. 

Their Mission, she said, is to enable the member countries have a safe and secure plant. 

Mr Opolot said through technical cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency, Uganda adopted the IAEA milestone phased approach for the development of national infrastructure for nuclear power.

“This approach considers three phases; phase one, understanding commitments, obligations and resource requirements before embarking on nuclear power project. Phase two, building specialized nuclear institutions and preparatory work towards construction and phase three, managing construction and preparing for commissioning and operation,”  he said.

Mr Okasai revealed that the Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) site has already been identified, including acquisition of land to host the 2000 MW nuclear power plant capacity. 

Cabinet in April 2015 approved the Nuclear Power Roadmap Development strategy 2014/2016 to guide the development of the nuclear infrastructure in Uganda. The strategy established the Nuclear Energy Programme Implementing Organisation (NEPIO), which makes use of the existing expertise within government ministries, departments and agencies.

The meeting was attended by Mr Mehmet Ceyhan, the INIR team leader, Mr Emmanuel Otala, the chairperson of Environment and Natural Resources Committee of Parliament, Ms Irene Bateeta, PS Ministry of Energy and Mineral development, Dr Akisophel Kisolo, Chairman, Atomic Energy Council, among others.