Zambian Govt officials signing documents with Russia's Rosatom for development of nucear technology in Zambia
Zambian Govt officials signing documents with Russia’s Rosatom for development of nucear technology in Zambia

A RUSSIAN delegation is expected in the country next week to conduct feasibility studies for the construction of a US$300 million industrial and scientific research reactor.

The reactor, also called non-power reactor, will be used for electricity production, development, education and training and for the production of radioisotopes for medicine and industry, among others.

National Institute for Scientific and Industrial Research head of nuclear energy application Reuben Katebe said once the construction of the plant starts, it will take five years to be completed.

In an interview recently, Mr Katebe said about 18 Zambians have been sent for training in nuclear science and technology in Russian.

“Our aim is to introduce the country to nuclear technology and, ultimately, to have a nuclear plant to generate electricity from nuclear reaction but the first stage is to build human capacity in nuclear energy,” he said.

Mr Katebe said the research reactor will be operated by local people for peaceful purposes.

He said the equipment that will be installed will also help Zambia conduct periodical maintenance of Indeni Oil Refinery without shutting the plant.

“In the industrial application, we are going to use the research reactor as a tracer to optimise the [various technologies] processes. We will use the tracers as scanners, for example, to look at a distillation of fuel at Indeni.

“The current method at Indeni is that they shut down the plant to allow a person to go inside to find out which tray has collapsed and that takes a lot of time. But with this technology, it will just take a day to scan the whole column and identify where the problem is,” he said.

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29 COMMENTS

    • What do you expect when deals are negotiated at Sate House and Chief negotiator is Kaizer? God gave us too much sunshine, why don’t we start by exploiting solar energy. It is cheap and environmentally friendly.

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  1. The russians Rsatom got kicked out of south africa because of 1. Bribery and backhands that were paid.
    2. Because of the dangers of nuclear power generation. We now want them to come here and do the same thing….who has a hand in this pie ? Is South African leader involved. Why must we have nuclear energy when we have enough sunlight to generate power through solar. This is a disaster and people of zambia must campaign against this !

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  2. @Mustafa, I agree with you. PF are thieves with no brains to see dangers in the future. With all the sun around we can’t be talking about this dissaster coming from Russia. It will be worse than Gabon disaster.

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  3. We can’t take proper care of plastic waste nor dispose our liquid waste in a prudent manner.And now you add nuclear waste for dunderheads?

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  4. As usual too negative about anything they do not even know. Talk to scientists at UNZA, there is nothing to fear. We can ably handle this. There are Zambians out there working in nuclear plants. They can now come and work here home. Weldone PF we are with you on this one. Besides Zambia has a lot of Uranium.

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  5. As usual too negative about anything they do not even know. Talk to scientists at UNZA, there is nothing to fear. We can ably handle this. There are Zambians out there working in nuclear plants. They can now come and work here home. Weldone PF we are with you on this one. Besides Zambia has a lot of Uranium..

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  6. ZAMBIANS ARE TIME WASTERS FOR NOTHING BUT AKALIJO (JEALOUS). THEY CONDEMN EVERYTHHING PF IS DOING, BUT, TRIBAL ATTITUDES OF UPND. THEY ARE ALREADY CONDEMNING PF GOVERNMENT’S INITIATIVE TO DEVELOP A NUCLEAR POWER PLANT EVEN THOUGH THEY DON’T EVEN KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT IT. THAT’S WHY ZAMBIANS ARE NOT THE BEST PEOPLE TO CONSULT WHEN IT COMES TO STATE (ORPPP), PROJECTS DEVELOPMENTS. THEY WOULD MILEAD THE GOVERNMENT DUE TO BIAS AGAINST PF GOVERNMENT. THE DEVELOPMENT OF THIS NUCLEAR PLANT IS ONE OF THE BEST PROJECTS THE GOVERNMENT WITH THE HELP OF RUSSIA WILL EMBARK UPON. IT WIIL PROMOTE HIGHER EDUCATION UPGRADE, MEDICINE RESEARCH, SECONDARY/COLLEGE/UNIVERSITY MATHS, CHEMISTRY AND PHYSICS PRACTICAL INDUSTRIAL APPLICATION, MORE HEALTH AND SAFETY AWARENESS ON AN UPPED LEVEL RESPONSIBILITY AND…

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  7. IT WIIL PROMOTE HIGHER EDUCATION UPGRADE, MEDICINE RESEARCH, SECONDARY/COLLEGE/UNIVERSITY MATHS, CHEMISTRY AND PHYSICS PRACTICAL INDUSTRIAL APPLICATION, MORE HEALTH AND SAFETY AWARENESS ON AN UPPED LEVEL RESPONSIBILITY AND THE PLUSES ARE ENDLESS. THE BEST THINGS ZAMBIANS CAN DO IS AVOIDING COMMENTS ON THINGS THEY HAVE NO KNOWLEDGE ON.

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    • And when we have a disaster with the nuclear power plant and hundreds of innocent people are killed / disfigured what then ? I think Russia are looking for our uranium to build nuclear war heads and using this as a mask to hide what they are really wanting to do !

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  8. The cost of mitigating and rectifying a nuc disaster is 10 times that of setting up a nuc plant. is zambia ready for that kind of technology? This is what the secretary of common wealth came to zambia for and not anything political. nuc activities are high regulated by the common wealth under a UN charter.

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  9. It’s time the nuclear program took shape in Zambia. We have a lot of Uranium resources that we could exploit the benefit of Zambia. A research reactor like the proposed one does not pose any health and safety risks and will help develop the program. Nuclear energy has a lot of peaceful applications in industry, health, agriculture, etc. We need young Zambians getting employment as nuclear engineers and researchers

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  10. Logic it is a reactor which ever way you want to put a spin on it.of course it has risks.
    Who is going to mine the uranium amd process, where will the waste be stored.
    Chernoby nuclear meltdown now has a an exclusion zone of 2600square km thats total exclusion other areas are affected also. Imagine that area in and around , is it in lusaka, where is it being built.
    Very dangerous idea. Ask japan.

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    • The Chernobyl Reactor was an RBMK Hot Channel “Production Reactor” used for produce plutonium for bombs and electricity. It had the unique ability to be refueled whilst online. It was not a research reactor. A research reactor is used to perform experiments as well as radioisotopes. In the worst scenario, only the building where the reactor is can be contaminated. It does not pose a risk to people or the environment as you claim. A research reactor such as the “TRIGA” reactor can be operated by your five-year-old child without any risk.
      The reactors at Chernobyl and Fukushima were power reactors for electricity. Actually, the Chernobyl reactor was not a bad design but operators with a military mindset performed poorly thought experiments and disabled the safety systems of the reactor

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  11. Research reactors are not used in generation of electricity. Just google research reactors. So can the government please tell us the truth. Also the $300 million is it a loan is it a grant do we give the russians a uranium mine.
    What is the truth. Why lie that it js for power generation.

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  12. Logic as you say only the building the research reactor is in can be contaminated, if it explodes,but it is still contaminated and if you were kn there i am sure you would be exposed to contamination… this is by your own definition. Keep justifying. Pipo only want to point out risks. Government has announced power generation as well.
    If government doesnt understand the function of a research reactor how can u expect pipo to have confidence that they have the technical know how to make an informed decision. Can you tell us all does zambia have the correct tyoe of uranium to produce the isotopes and who will be mining and processsing. Waste will be disposed of how and where, government doesn’t seem to understand its own program

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    • Even facilities that are in operation get contaminated and are cleaned. Contamination means the radiation is in a wrong place. I can see I have to do a lot of teaching here. Why don’t you go and buy a cob of maize to eat and leave people who know what they are talking about to discuss facts on this forum!!

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  13. Research reactor. Followed by will produce electricity. Are you sure it’s a research reactor. May we have some clarity?

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  14. Go for it, if we cut down on the energy cost the nation will benefit. the world is moving fast. we need to catch up. Also take interest in other clean energy sources.

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  15. I don’t think Zambia is ready for nuclear power plants. Nuclear technology has its risks which I think Zambia cannot manage and let alone safely manage the nuclear waste. We don’t even have safety standards we can talk about and can’t even do simple tests because we have no facilities but send sample to outside countries for testing. Nuclear waste from Western Europe can only be SAFELY be stored in Cambria in the UK and after the Japanese nuclear disaster, Germany will shut down all its 17 nuclear power plants by 2022 for safety safety reasons. And that is a developed country yet a fourth world country ill-equiped in every sense wants to take risks.

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  16. We can’t even clear Kabwe, which is one of the most polluted towns on earth.

    Have Zambians ever heard of Chernobyl?

    Also, too much international politics

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