Sub-Saharan African countries are targeted on the adoption of safe nuclear energy as the region looks to diversify its sources of electricity, according to the African Young Generation in Nuclear (AYGN) based in Nairobi.
To achieve this, AYGN with the support of Rosatom, Russia’s state-owned nuclear agency, has established a chapter in Zambia to push for technology transfers and collaboration in training young nuclear scientists and engineers.
Speaking at the official launch of the Zambian chapter of AYGN at a gala dinner, Mr. Ryan Collyer, Rosatom’s Communications Director for Central and Southern Africa thanked AYGN for the initiative they had shown in organizing the conference and their role in driving public awareness on safe nuclear energy.
The Kenya Nuclear Electricity Board and Rosatom have been working towards introducing safe nuclear energy as part of the country’s power mix.
“There are many misconceptions around our industry and it is these misconceptions that as an industry we should work together to dispel. It is time we deliver the good stories, the great stories and hopefully one day the nuclear industry will be celebrated for its grand achievement of bettering the lives of millions across the globe, rather than frowned upon for the simple reason of not being fully understood,” said Collyer.
Zambia has committed to construct a center for nuclear science and technology and add 2000 MW of nuclear power to its power grid over the next 10 to 15 years in order to promote industrial and economic growth.
“With many African nations moving towards nuclear with the aim of diversifying and bolstering their energy mixes to stimulate economic growth, collaboration in the sector and nurturing young talent is more vital than ever,” said AYGN President Gaopalelwe Santswere.
Similar sentiments were expressed at a three-day regional conference on enhancing Africa’s capacity on nuclear safety, security and safeguards supported by Rosatom, the International Science and Technology Centre (ISTC) and the European Union and Rosatom in Lusaka, Zambia on 29th to 31st August.
Zambia’s Secretary to Cabinet, Dr. Roland Msiska, thanked AYGN for hosting the Lusaka conference, which saw participation by nuclear regulators from Tanzania, South Africa, and Malawi, as well as young professionals and seasoned experts from across the continent.
Rosatom and the Zambian government signed a general contract for the construction of a Centre for Nuclear Science and Technology (CNST). The signing took place during the 10th international Atomexpo-2018 forum in Sochi.
Construction of the center is the first joint project of Russia and Zambia in the field of nuclear technologies. The center will be located 10 kilometers away from the capital of Zambia, Lusaka.
The CNST will include a nuclear research facility based on a multipurpose research water-cooled reactor of up to 10 Megawatts, a modern laboratory complex, multipurpose irradiation center as well as a cyclotron-based nuclear medicine center.
The project will be implemented in several stages within 3 to 6 years from the work commencement date under the contract.
Rosatom has built more than 120 research reactors in Russia and abroad.