Chongwe residents have rejected Nuclear Power Plant-Mwalusaka

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President Edgar Lungu when the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency Dr. Yukiya Amano paid a courtesy call on him at State House on Wednesday, 24th January, 2018. Pictures by Thomas Nsama/State House
President Edgar Lungu when the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency Dr. Yukiya Amano paid a courtesy call on him at State House on Wednesday, 24th January, 2018. Pictures by Thomas Nsama/State House

Prominent Chongwe resident Frederick Mwalusaka has joined other Chongwe residents in rejecting the planned construction of a Nuclear Science and Technology Plant in the area.

Mr Mwalusaka who is also former RTSA Chief Executive Officer said Zambia does not have the means to evacuate the entire city if the nuclear facility decides to go ballistic.

“I pray to God that as government plans to undertake nuclear research and development in Chongwe, they should do so with foresight. Hindsight can be a bad teacher. Examples abound of what happens when a nuclear facility decides to go ballistic and I need not mention them here,” Mr. Mwalusaka said.

He added, “We do not have the means or the capacity to evacuate entire cities for prolonged length of time. While research and development should be encouraged, they should take such facilities very far away from human settlements where the effects of a calamity should it occur would be least minimal.”

During a heated public meeting in Chongwe on Monday, Chieftainess Nkomeshya Mukamambo II and the Soli people of Chongwe rejected government’s proposal to build a nuclear plant in their chiefdom.

Prof Luo later stormed out of the meeting after government was accused of not consulting Chieftainess Nkomeshya while Mr Mwakalombe promised to deliver the message of rejection to President Lungu.

The meeting attended by Higher Education Minister Professor Nkandu Luo, Chongwe Member of Parliament Japhen Mwakalombe and Mayor Geoffrey Chumbwe held at the Chongwe Council chamber, the residents threw out government’s intended plan to build the plant in Chongwe using the Russians.

According to the Intergovernmental Agreement on Cooperation between Russia and Zambia, the institution will constitute the Centre of Nuclear Science and Technology.

The Centre will be based on the multipurpose research reactor with a capacity of 10 MW equipped with laboratories, functional facilities and complexes providing a whole range of scientific research, training and commercial applications.

The Centre will also comprise multifunctional irradiation centre and nuclear medicine Centre based on the cyclotron.

The CNST is expected to allow Zambia to start the development and mastering of nuclear technologies that may be applied in science, education, healthcare, agriculture and industry such as geology and other fields.

According to the decision of the Zambian Government, the location of the Centre will be within the premises of the National Institute for Scientific and Industrial Research.

The Government of Zambia is fully responsible for the selection of the Centre site and it is will be located near Lusaka International Airport, Silver Rest area.

Government feels that the location is ideal for such type of facilities because it can attract not only population and personnel during the construction stage but also will be convenient during the operation stage and is also ideal from the logistics point of view.

The contract on the preliminary site survey was signed during Atomexpo 2017 with participation of the Zambian delegation.

As soon as the site is ready, Russian firm Rosatom can promptly start the works at the Centre site.

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49 COMMENTS

  1. Well done Fred, we have priorities shall we address priorities instead of agreeing to every proposal a donor makes. We have families women and children in need of basics such as a meal, health and education. Please does it mean we have everything decided for us by other peoples interests.

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    • Frederick Mwalusaka is ignorant.

      Its like saying I am not jumping on the plane in case it crashes.

      Another black man with a flawed mind.

      Pathetic

      Thanks

      BB2014,2016

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  2. This is how the country continues to remain behind. This is the te h ology used in many western countries including South Africa. Technology has evolved and we need to move with times. Just like Mushota has said, not every plant fails.
    If Chongwe people do not want this development take it to another area. Copperbelt or ùCentral province would be perfect for this.

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  3. Mwalusaka is not against research and development , he is saying that such facilities should be done in areas far from from human settlements just in case of a calamity.
    It is a very good idea and in Zambia we have plenty land which is inhabited so why insist on Chongwe?

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  4. This was ill planned by Prof. Luo …she goes to a meeting comprising of the Chief, villagers and locals wearing a
    short skirt (only to assisted by Chieftainess with a cover cloth) and arrogantly attempted to sit on the center chair meant for the Chieftainess. To top it up you make allegations of land grab by your cadres.
    Its beggars belief how Zambia can even trust Russians with this…we have 365 days of sunshine why would we need nuclear!!

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    • The Russians probably want Chongwe because its close to KKIA…so they can easily land their big Antonov An-225 Mriya Cargo plane when they come to dump nuclear waste!!

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  5. Nuclear accidents happen. I can never trust the PF that they will ensure that Measures are put in place. Mineral waste polluted water sources on the Copperbelt. It is NGOs in the UK who are following up and pressing the cases against mining companies. In Mufulira, mining companies polluted the air with sulphur, Nothing has happened. People have suffered! Cholera broke out, it took months to curb the epidemic; liquid and solid waste is not managed in Zambia. So how can they even dream of a nuclear plant?? nuclear waste and possible accidents cannot be managed.

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  6. Is Saviour Chishimba from Chongwe or he just went there to pollute the villagers? Lets be serious once as a country. Mushota is spot on with her expample. How many nuclear disasters have we had in this world? Go to the cancer registry and see numbers of Zambians afflicted and need Radiotherapy that is supposed to be provided by this facility?

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  7. We as a country have failed to operate a blood bank and you expect us to a Nuclear power plant?

    Lessons learnt from Japan after floods as they have areas that have sealed off and contaminated.

    Let us be realistic people, the cost is way too epic to sustain………! The idea could be good, but we must be fools to trust our greedy politicians. Besides, who are we to decide for the people of Choongwe!

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  8. A research reactor is not the same as a nuclear power plant. Some cities have research reactors are right in the centre of the city like you have in Prague, Czech Republic (Czechia). Stockholm also had one right in the city. Government needs to engage with the people properly and articulate the benefits of such a facility (education, jobs, income). Can some one cite an example where a research reactor caused evacuation of a city? The answer is nowhere.

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    • Your statement is false. You should do some research before making claims. http://www.johnstonsarchive.net/nuclear/radevents/radeventdata.html // https://www.ucsusa.org/nuclear-power/nuclear-power-accidents/history-nuclear-accidents
      Incomplete list:
      * 2016-HBWR research reactor Halden, Norway
      * 1983 – RA-2 Facility, Constituyentes, Argentina.
      * 1965 – VENUS assembly, Mol, Belgium
      * 1961 – SL-1, Idaho Falls, Idaho, USA
      Research reactors vs. nuclear power reactors – they have the same risks due to the nature of radiation. Throw in the risks of terrorists in insecure countries, like Africa, and the opportunity for nuclear radiation incidents to occur is greatly multiplied. Then, consider also the grave consequences of nuclear waste. The US has far more money than any African country…

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    • Ignorance is very bad…..again I blame the PF and GRZ media teams for failing to sanitize the people of the difference between a nuclear power station and a research facility for nuclear sciences and medicines…

      Pf and GRZ have very , very poor media teams.

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  9. I meant to say – your statement is misleading and you should do some research before making claims regarding nuclear safety.

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  10. And, though the US has far more money than any African nation,it still has no risk-free/foolproof solutions for radioactive nuclear waste.

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  11. South Bend radiotherapy accident, 2004
    St. Petersburg radiological homicide, 2004
    Shandong Jining irradiator accident, 2004*
    Columbus radiotherapy accident, 2004
    Lyon radiotherapy accident, 2004
    Epinal radiotherapy accident, 2004-2005
    Nueva Aldea radiography accident, 2005
    Glasgow radiotherapy accident, 2006
    Fleurus irradiator accident, 2006
    Florence radiotherapy accident, 2006
    Dakar radiography accident, 2006
    London radiological homicide, 2006
    Clinton radioactive source theft, 2007
    Tecnos radiography accident, 2007
    Arcata medical radiography accident, 2008
    Los Angeles medical radiography accident, 2008-2009
    Rades orphaned source, 2008
    Taiyuan irradiator accident, 2008
    Jinju radiography accident, 2009
    Database of Radiological Incidents and Related Events http://www

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  12. I was in Okinawa Japan on 11/3/11 the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plantdisaster happened. Damage from an earthquake & tsunami led to insufficient cooling, that triggered nuclear meltdown, hydrogen-air explosions, & the release of radioactive material into the atmosphere. The loss of cooling also caused the heavy water for storing spent fuel from reactors to overheat due to the decay heat from the fuel rods. Baba, this is not chicken feed, I flew out of Narita Airport like a tornado back to Germany. And if Nkandu “Musuma” Luo think a nuclear meltdown is like committing adultery, let her take this plant kwaNabwalya where she comes from!

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  13. Look, they are taking all new universities to their home provinces and only dangerous developments to other provinces. And looking at Luo’s arms, lips, legs and stomach, she honestly looks like someone who had a massive radioactive exposure! So she wants all Lenjes to also be like her but Mukamambo said zero bebele!

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  14. You don’t need to ask Zambians about this kind of stuff. Just do it period. Zambia is full of ignorant jokers. The majority knows nothing. As long as education remains a pipe dream, majority opinion will bring no value!

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  15. Ignorance is very bad…..again I blame the PF and GRZ media teams for failing to sanitize the people of the difference between a nuclear power station , which zambia can not afford or even operate and a research facility for nuclear sciences and medicines which is very important to the economy and is safe unless of course you try to steal the reactor …. …

    Sad that even whole Mps do not know the difference.

    Pf and GRZ have very , very poor media teams.

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    • My brother, PF and Edgar Chakolwa Lungu have ruined and wasted Zambia’s development years. A sensitization tour, panel discussion, informed town hall meetings is what is required of a major–and potentially life-changing issue as a Nuclear Power plant in the neighbour hood. We can wait to vote out someone as clueless, visionless and incompeted like ECL and his PF-party.Zambia deserves better.

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  16. Nuclear power plant is just one alternative source of power which Zambia desperately needs.Many alternative clean, safe and sustainable energy sources such as Solar sit well within the scope of a poor third world country like Zambia. The dangers of a nuclear power plant are on record and real. Zambia does not have institutional capacity to manage a nuclear power plant. Moreover, processing, disposal or storage of spent nuclear waste requires state of the art technology which Zambia lacks. World-wide, the storage of high-level nuclear waste remains a NIMBY issue—-(i.e. NOT- IN MY BACKYARD). This project must be rejected as PF-Chakolwa Lungu-led government lacks the capacity for determining, assessing and managing nuclear-power related risks and impacts. This shouldn’t even be a…

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  17. Nuclear power plant shouldn’t even be a discussion. Serious nuclear power plant accidents (and continuing serious consequences long after) include the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster (2011), Chernobyl disaster (1986), Three Mile Island accident (1979), and the SL-1 accident (1961).Not in Our Backyard, Never! Ever.

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  18. Zambia is a small country whose energy needs can be satisfied by its abundant water, sunshine and wind resources. Why is it trying to run before it can crawl?

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  19. The safe western countries you are referring, are now closing their Nuclear Plants because it is a challenge on where to dispose off Nuclear waste and it has caused a very negative impact on humans and nature as a whole. We have failed to manage plastic waste which is all over the streets and in our drainage. And how on earth are we going to manage the Nuclear waste. Let us do some research before we take sides ignorantly.

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    • This is a very valid point about our capacity to manage waste, but you’re not right about western countries closing NPs because of same issue. Here it is about post development stress or something. The truth is most, if not all developed countries small and big have used NP to generate energy, it lowers the costs, guarantees availability, etc. BTW now there are new methods of disposing off of nuclear waste e.g underground but still ‘rogue’ countries still dump stuff in the world’s oceans and in shores of neighboring countries like Russia, India, I know of tanks which carry nuclear waste and goes sailing around the world distributing the ‘goods’. It is just what it is.

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  20. We cannot sort out the basics and we have began discussing nuclear! The PF uses such suggested ventures to camouflage its primitiveness with claims of sophistry, as well as divert the nation from more pressing quality of life issues. As someone pointed out, the country has other natural resources it can harness abundantly. I suspect (whether for research or otherwise) this is not meant to be for the benefit of Zambians. It has the whole-marks of some clandestine objectives that will realise the ambitions of the sponsor. My gist is, it’s not a priority even if it were not suspect.
    Serious matters should be debated seriously. There are too many decisions that seem to be made with impunity by this regime – A regime you cannot trust with a solar panel, let alone a nuclear facility.

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  21. If a meltdown occurs at that facility, the airport will need to be shut and abandoned along with all of chest one and avondale plus Meanwood and silverest.

    The site is too close to human settlement.

    Meanwhile Zambia doesn’t have the financial muscle to absorb the economic implications of a possible meltdown and those Russians will disappear

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  22. He says ” build far from where people live. ..” that’s going to be impossible since I can’t any area that’s not populated. The rest I neither concur or disprove.

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  23. Bane…..we are failing to deal with simple floods in kanyama and then suddenly ati nuclear reasearch…Mwanfunta atini?? Okay if you still want some corruption money out of it take it to Luano valley ba mfwiti imwe…mwaumfwa

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  24. My biggest worry is not whether its a nuclear research facility or nuclear power plant, but the storage and disposal of nuclear waste from such plants. Nuclear waste is not chicken manure which you can bury in your backyard. You cannot taste or see radiation. Lusaka water is polluted with cholera bacteria, imagine polluting water with nuclear waste?

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