A delegation from Uganda has visited China to familiarise itself with nuclear energy technology and to discuss cooperation. The African country plans to introduce nuclear into its future energy mix.
The delegation – led by Prisca Boonabantu, undersecretary in the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development – comprised representatives from the ministry, the Uganda Atomic Energy Council and from Uganda’s embassy in Beijing. The visit took place on 2-5 May and was organised by China Zhonguan Engineering Corporation (CZEC), a subsidiary of China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC). It followed a visit of Chinese officials to Kampala in March last year.
During the visit, the Ugandan delegation engaged with key Chinese nuclear energy agencies, including the national Nuclear Safety Administration and the China Institute of Atomic Energy (CIAE). As well as visiting the China Experimental Fast Reactor, the group also visited the construction site of the demonstration Hualong One reactors at Fuqing in Fujian province.
Boonabantu noted that Uganda’s Vision 2040 roadmap incorporates the development of nuclear energy as part of the country’s future energy mix. “Plans have been made in Uganda to have clean and safe energy generation sources with nuclear being one of them,” she said. The country, she added, welcomes partners to help construct, train and develop nuclear energy in line with International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) standards.
CZEC president Yang Chaodong told the delegation China is ready to foster closer cooperate with Uganda in the area of nuclear development through partnerships and dialogue.
CNNC announced on 10 May that a memorandum of understanding on nuclear energy cooperation had been signed during the visit between China Central Plains Foreign Engineering Company, China Nuclear Manufacturing Group and Uganda’s Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development.
The text of a draft MOU between the Ugandan ministry and CNNC was also agreed upon during the visit.
Last October, a framework MOU was signed between the Ugandan ministry and Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom for cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy.
Uganda’s Atomic Energy Bill came into effect in 2008, to regulate the use of ionising radiation and provide a framework to develop nuclear power generation. In October of that year, Uganda signed up to the IAEA’s Country Program Framework, which provides a frame of reference for planning medium-term technical cooperation between an IAEA member state and the Agency, and identifies priority areas where the transfer of nuclear technology and technical cooperation resources will be directed to support national development goals.