The Zambian Government has signed agreements with Russia’s state nuclear agency Rosatom to lay the groundwork to build nuclear power plants in Zambia which it hopes will bring to an end load shedding.
Rosatom State Atomic Energy Corporation, is a state corporation in Russia, established in 2007 and is the regulatory body of the Russian nuclear complex.
The three Memorandum of Understanding and one project development agreement with Russia signifies the commencement of the process to develop capacity to implement nuclear science in Zambia.
The cooperation will among other things develop a strategy for nuclear plant within 10 to 15 years which will produce at least two Giga watts of electricity, product isotopes for diagnosis, cancer treatment and irradiation of food.
The agreement paves way for the Russian Federation to assist Zambia with the development of policies, programs, institutions and capacity strengthening to develop nuclear energy for peaceful purpose over a 10 to 15-year horizon.
Rosatom Deputy Director General Nikolay Spassky disclosed that in the MoUs signed, the Russian federation will assist Zambia construct a centre for nuclear science and technology that will consist of nuclear installations.
Mr. Spassky also called on Zambians to remove myths about nuclear energy saying projects of such magnitude need support from all citizens by creating public confidence.
And Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services Permanent Secretary Godfrey Malama who signed one of the agreements said government expects communication agents to effectively convey messages that will positively impact on citizens for the successful development of the nuclear program.
The First Memorandum of Understanding signed between the ministry of Higher Education and Rosatom on cooperation in training and skills development in the fields of nuclear, will allow Russian Federation assist Zambia in developing an integrated country human resource plan for personnel for nuclear power plant.
Meanwhile, Secretary to the Cabinet Rowland Msiska said the development turns into actuality the pronouncement by President Edgar Lungu during the opening of Parliament that his administration will pursue nuclear technology as part of a diversified sustainable energy mix to power Zambia’s economy.
Dr. Msiska told journalists shortly after the signing ceremony that once the program is implemented, load shedding will be a thing of past.