Construction of Chongwe Nuclear Centre to proceed

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Ministry of Higher Education Permanent Secretary Mabvuto Sakala signing on behalf of the Zambian government
Ministry of Higher Education Permanent Secretary Mabvuto Sakala signing on behalf of the Zambian government

The controversial construction of the Chongwe Nuclear and Technology Research Centre in Chongwe will go ahead after Zambia and Russia signed a general contract to kick start its construction.

This is despite the residents of Chongwe including the local leadership in the area rejecting the project.

Last week, the Zambian government and Russia’s Rosatom have signed a general contract for the construction of a Centre for Nuclear Science and Technology (CNST).

The signing took place during the 10th international Atomexpo-2018 forum in Sochi which ran from May 14-18th.

The Construction of the center is the first joint project of Russia and Zambia in the field of nuclear technologies.

Ministry of Higher Education Permanent Secretary Mabvuto Sakala signed on behalf of Zambia while General Director of State Specialized Design Institute JSC (GSPI) Vyacheslav Galushkov signed for Russia.

The signing was witnessed by Minister of Energy of Mathew Nkhuwa and General Director of State Corporation Rosatom Alexey Likhachev.

General Director of the State Corporation Rosatom Alexey Likhachev said, “Signing the contract opens a new chapter in the partnership between Russia and Zambia. In the nearest future, we plan to start extensive practical works, including engineering surveys at the site of the centre, assessment of nuclear infrastructure and subsequent development plan in accordance with IAEA recommendations as well as global and Russian best practice.”

Mr. Likhachev said construction of the center will enable Zambia to become one of the leading players in nuclear technologies application in the Central and Southern African region.

The center will be located 10 kilometers away from Lusaka in Chongwe.

The CNST will include a nuclear research facility based on a multipurpose research water-cooled reactor of up to 10 MW, a state of the art laboratory complex, multipurpose irradiation center as well as a cyclotron-based nuclear medicine center.

The project will be implemented in several stages within 3-6 years from the work commencement date under the contract.

The Center will ensure wide application of radiation technologies in medicine, industry and agriculture.

The CNST will also promote the growth of national education and science through the training of highly qualified experts in various fields.

The radioisotopes produced will be used to diagnose and treat primarily cancer and cardiac diseases, which will generally increase availability of high-tech nuclear medicine for Zambia’s population.

The use of radiation for food processing will improve food safety and create conditions for the increase of Zambian agricultural exports.

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29 COMMENTS

  1. We have an abundance of uranium at Lumwana and Cobalt 60 at Chambeshi most of which is being exported as blister copper or the infamous dandashi. The program must include the enrichment and processing of the raw uranium if we’re to derive maximum benefits. Indeed 7 years of the PF has changed Zambia, the only sector that’s lugging is the political field. Some of our politicians have refused to mature,eg/ Hichilema, Kambwili, Freedom Sikazwe, Bowman Lusambo, Jack Mwiimbu, Garry Nkombo, etc

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    • $30-Billion loan is what it’ll cost to construct one nuclear power station. Bangladesh just commissioned the 2.4GW Rooppur nuclear plant financed by Rosatom through a US$12.65 billion loan. With interest accrual, cost overruns, operations and decommissioning, total final cost is roughly US$30 billion. Given Zambia’s total annual budget is ONLY US$7.2 billion, this DEBT is clearly unaffordable.

      The annual interest for the Rooppur loan is around 3%. In addition, the loan is structured in a way that repayments only start 10-13 years after the loan is made but continues in annual instalments for 22-28 years thereafter. At first, Zambia will pay little, but when the repayments kick in, the country’s fiscus and electricity consumers will suddenly be faced with a massive burden that…

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    • CONT’D…
      the country’s fiscus and electricity consumers will suddenly be faced with a massive burden that Zambia’s economy will never be able to meet. By then the 3% annual interest will increase the amount owed by as much as 40%.

      Why not emulate Kenya which has exploited geothermal power stations along the Rift Valley? We have plenty hot springs in Zambia. We don’t have to strangle our throats with $30-billion debt.

      We have ample sunshine (365 days/year), ideal for solar power generation. Why not set up solar panel manufacturing factory thus creating jobs?

      Zambia has plenty Hydro power potential sites. Why not exploit these?

      I’ll tell you why Nuclear agenda is being pushed: Someone (the humble thief) is being given a BIG BRIBE. Open your eyes.

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    • Simply another scheme to steal money.

      Don’t you just ever get tired of these mobsters??

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    • Again these thieves are pushing through this amid protests…..you can not clean up sewer pipelines and drainage but you want a nuclear plant for what…Russia would dump what in Zambia and there is absolutely anything anybody could do to them. I hope this govt is kicked out before this starts.

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    • Ayatollah don’t encourage this project Zambia doesn’t have the capacity to manage the waste products from that controlled nuclear reaction.

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    • I doubt very much if this is truly a nuclear power plant. I know for sure this is a nuclear waste dump believe it or not! Zambia has no money to construct or maintain such a huge mammoth and potentially dangerous project. Those living near the proposed site should start packing and move far away now. Even rich countries like Russia and Japan have failed in the past to maintain such facilities despite having the capacity. What chance does Zambia has under the incompetent leaders to maintain such a dangerous facility if it can not maintain its schools and hospitals? Zero.

      From what I have gathered so far, the site in question is being prepared as a nuclear waste dumping site meant generate huge money for Lungu and his thugs to spend any how at the expense of the would be nuclear waste…

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    • ……… dumping site meant generate huge money for Lungu and his thugs to spend any how at the expense of the would be nuclear waste sufferers. Nuclear power plant is not a joke.

      Clear evidence that this will be nuclear waste dump site is the cost. No Nuclear power in the world would cost around $30million except the nuclear waste dumping sites which would even cost less. A modern nuclear power plant constructed according to the latest safety standard costs a minimum of £550million.

      So Zambians please do not to trust thief Lungu and thugs on this Nuclear power plant idea.

      Zambians open your eyes. After poisoning you Lungu and his close thugs will move to Eswatini ,leaving you to suffer nuclear waste effects alone.
      Lungu must go at any cost.

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  2. Why are we proceeding with a controversial project? Is it that the locals cannot see better than the implementers? Could it be that the commitment is at a point of no return and some resources that cannot be paid back easily have already been expended? What is going on?

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  3. Jonathan has brought disaster and death to Zambia because of his corruption; dirty money has already gone into some PF pockets; now the project is at no return; the true opposition should come together; warn PF and Russia; and reject this PF death trap;we have failed to maintain our cities and buildings like ZRA; how will we maintain this project?

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  5. 10km from Lusaka, just say it is within Lusaka, how far is 10km. This kind of selfishness is very alarming to say the least. Do you know how magnitude the dangers of atomic waste is? And you build the plant just under your nose.

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  6. Russia is up to no good and has never been. The locals are correct and their say should be respected. This is the biggest problem with Lungu is the disregard for the owners of the land. Every wrong doing has its time but destroying a country’s future generation is a moral obligation we should not cross for our children. Maybe that is he is building in Swaziland. Destroy Zambia and run to live well in a foreign country

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  7. Let the opposition sensitise the people of Chongwe to the dangers of this nuclear foolishness in Chongwe;

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  8. You can’t keep Zambia clean and free of cholera but you’re gonna keep us safe from risky nuclear waste?

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  9. The PS is Mabvuto Sakala signing on behalf of Zambia! Mabvuto means problematic and Sakala a thief. Is it by coincidence? Why locate this plant so close to Lusaka and not in the Muchinga Escapement tunnel or cave far from people? What Disaster recovery and Business Continuity Management plans do we have if the IFMIS system at Ministry of Finance can crash and we go for months manually?
    God help us.

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  10. Kikikiki,Shimukokota Nsono taumfwa,ati mabvuto means problems and Sakala thief,awe tizamuziba yesu.

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    Unbelievable!

    Another Chernobyl in the waiting… a govt that never listens to its own people, what kind of govt is this. You never commission a nuclear power plant amid protests from the local… no consultation, no sensitization, just do it because the think they are smarter than everyone else when it is the opposite.

    Find out how much they are stealing through bribes and kickbacks.

    Advanced countries like Australia have been shunning nuclear power for safety reasons and debate has been raging for many, many years. And a shythole country like Zambia that can’t even remove garbage and has dirty causing diseases like Cholera thinks they can manage nuclear power plant. And with laziness, corruption, poverty, dumbness, how could you surely run a nuclear plant?…

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  12. flag Alternative Facts Fake News S**thole Countries Social Mobility Chinese Zambia Police Reservists Corruption scandals: Ambulances Fire Trucks Mukula Trees Ndola-Lusaka Rd Malawi Maizegate Fuelgate Swaziland landgate Zesco Loans

    ….And with laziness, corruption, poverty, dumbness, how could you surely run a nuclear plant? Unbelievable!

    Would these numskulls ever stop at anything to fulfill their appetite for wealthy?

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  13. HH the thief has failed to change while Zambia is changing rapidly due to the good vision by the government. I wish the plant was located further away from the dense population or at least closer to Three Mansion’s home.

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  14. But can Russia first supply us dustbins and make drainages across the country so that we never have cholera again?

    I think dustbins are more important than a nuclear plant that is dangerous and a threat to the environment.

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  15. @Prof Given Chanda, we have so many disused mines in which we can dispose the nuclear waste, and that won’t be happening every year. So don’t worry unless you want to be an enemy of progress like Hichilema and the UPND.

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    • flag Alternative Facts Fake News S**thole Countries Social Mobility Chinese Zambia Police Reservists Corruption scandals: Ambulances Fire Trucks Mukula Trees Ndola-Lusaka Rd Malawi Maizegate Fuelgate Swaziland landgate Zesco Loans

      Mate, are you talking about the mines whose waste was dumped in the river and to this day that waste is still polluting the rivers and causing health hazards for the people? We really need to examine our conscience if we would just be supporting things based on our political beliefs. This issue is not about politics but real concerns that may affect generations to come. Zambia can’t even manage waste from copper mining, how are they going to manage nuclear waste?

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  16. Chongwe residents and the Chiefs should have taken it too court. It is that easy. Zambians talk to much.

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  17. A research reactor is not a safety hazard to the public. There are many cities that have them right in the centre of the city. Stockholm R-1 reactor now closed, Prague, Pretoria 45km away. The list is large. The worst that could happen is the operators getting contaminated. No safety risk and potential economic benefits.

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