Minister of Energy and Mineral Development Dr. Ruth Nankabirwa Ssentamu outlined some of the achievements Uganda has made toward tapping into nuclear energy during the 65th Regular Session of the IAEA General Conference.
The minister, who delivered the speech virtually, noted that the East African nation is ready to participate in the International Atomic Energy Agency’s Integrated Nuclear Infrastructure Review mission planned this year.
The conference started on the 20th and it will end on 24th September 2021. It is being held at the Vienna International Centre in Vienna, Austria.
According to Nankabirwa, Uganda has been able to boost its nuclear energy human resources and acquired necessary equipment thanks to the agency’s support.
“The partnership with the Agency through the implementation of the Technical Cooperation Programme and other Agency supported activities has been beneficial in terms of human resources development and acquisition of specialised equipment across the various sectors of Government,” she said.
“In the current situation of the pandemic, we applaud the Agency for the continued assistance to Member States demonstrated by the good implementation of the technical cooperation programme.”
The minister reaffirmed Uganda’s commitment towards strengthening the national infrastructure for nuclear safety, security and safeguards.
“… we welcome the Agency’s assistance towards nuclear law development and enhancing the nuclear security regime,” she said. “Uganda believes that development cannot be sustained without peace and security. We wish therefore to applaud the Agency for its pivotal role in enhancing the nuclear security regime and for monitoring and safeguarding nuclear material to ensure that peaceful nuclear endeavours do not result in nuclear terrorism and nuclear weapons proliferation.”
The minister informed the conference that Uganda is prioritizing the energy sector as a primary growth enabler to attain the national development agenda by 2040.
“The Government of Uganda aims to achieve electricity consumption of 3,668 kWh/Capita in 2040 from current level of about 200 kWh/Capita,” she revealed. “To this end, the Government of Uganda continues to prepare for the introduction of nuclear power as part of the diversification strategy for meeting future electricity needs for social economic development.”