Zambia, Russia in nuclear energy pact.
ZAMBIA has signed four memorandums of understanding ( MoU) in nuclear development with Russia’s energy giant Rosatom to ultimately construct a two gigawatt nuclear power plant.
The MoUs signed are on co- operation enhancement of public awareness of nuclear energy in Zambia; cooperation in training and skills development in the field of nuclear sciences; co- operation in nuclear safety and regulation; and for the construction of a centre for nuclear science and technology in Zambia.
Rosatom deputy general director Nikolay Spassky has said that the economic potential of the agreements and memorandums is worth US$ 10 billion and he has commended President Lungu for his political will to the project.
Secretary to the Cabinet Roland Msiska said the MoUs signed with Rosatom mark the beginning of a process of developing two gigawatts of electricity in the next 10 to 15 years.
Dr Msiska was speaking on Tuesday shortly after the signing of the MoUs.
“ This is a welcome move for Zambia and with improvement in technologies and controls to manage potential spillages and enough water to cool the reactors, there is little to worry about,” he said.
Dr Msiska said the inter- governmental MoUs are also on co- operation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy.
He said the agreement covers nuclear energy power generation and uranium exploration and that the first joint project will involve the establishment of a nuclear technologies centre and the training of Zambian nuclear power specialists in Russia “ The construction of a unique nuclear science and technologies centre in Zambia will be the first joint project for which 20 Zambian scholars will commence their education in Russian nuclear Universities annually,” he said.
Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services permanent secretary Godfrey Malama signed the MoU on co- operation in enhancement of public awareness of nuclear energy in Zambia.
Mr Malama said the ministry will conduct media workshops, seminars and embark on public sensitisation on nuclear energy so that people can appreciate its importance.
He said the media will be sensitised with information that will remove people’s negative perceptions on nuclear energy.
Ministry of Higher Education permanent secretary Owen Mugemezulu signed the MoU on co- operation in training and skills development in the field of nuclear sciences.
Mr Mugemezulu thanked the Russian government for extending support to Zambia to develop the necessary skills in nuclear sciences.
“ Our Russian counterparts have been very generous and they have sponsored 20 young Zambians to study nuclear sciences in Russia even before the MoU was signed,” he said.
He also assured that Zambia will develop a robust programme in the development of its human resource capacity.
Mr Mugemezulu also signed the MoU for the construction of a centre for nuclear science and technology in Zambia.
Ministry of Health permanent secretary Jabbin Mulwanda signed the MoU on co- operation in nuclear safety and regulation.
Mr Spassky said the success of the project depends on political commitment and that it is good that President Lungu is dedicated.
He said the project will create jobs for Zambians and more people will be trained in nuclear sciences.