Uganda announced Thursday it will begin construction of the country’s first nuclear facility, the Buyende Nuclear Power Plant, in partnership with China National Nuclear Corporation that would assist the East African country in developing capabilities for peaceful use of atomic energy.
Currently in Africa, only South Africa has an active nuclear power plant, while Russia’s state-owned energy corporation Rosatom commenced construction of Egypt’s first nuclear facility last year.
The government said it is making firm steps to integrate nuclear energy into the electricity generation mix to ensure energy security and provide sufficient electricity for industrialization.
“Preparation to evaluate the Buyende Nuclear Power Plant site is ongoing to pave the way for the first nuclear power project expected to generate 2,000 MW, with the first 1,000 MW to be connected to the national grid by 2031,” Energy and Minerals Minister Ruth Nankabirwa Ssentamu said in a statement.
She added that the plant would be constructed roughly 150 kilometers (93 miles) north of the capital Kampala, as part of efforts to diversify the country’s electricity resources and speed its energy transition, which is a critical component of its climate change response.
President Yoweri Museveni said the country has a rich uranium reserve it wishes to take advantage of. He emphasized that his administration was eager to utilize its reserves by constructing East Africa’s first nuclear plant.
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