Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Construction of a Nuclear Research Reactor in Zambia with Russia’s assistance is expected to begin next year


Zambia’s Ambassador to Russia Shadreck Luwita has told Sputnik, a Russian based news media, after the recently held Southern African Development Community (SADC) Investment Forum in Moscow, that an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) agreement h
d been signed and the site for the construction of the reactor had been chosen.

Mr. Luwita says a legal framework is being considered under the current sitting of parliament to come up with legislation that will pave way for actual works to start in 2019.

He says the Zambian government had set up a special steering committee which would spearhead the construction of the research reactor.

Mr. Luwita explained that the research reactor, which will be producing isotopes, would enable the country to abandon isotopes imports from India and South Africa and will even permit the exports of Zambian isotopes to neighbouring countries.

In February 2017, Russia and Zambia signed an inter-governmental agreement on cooperation in a building of a nuclear science and technology centre in Zambia.

The agreement provides for the centre’s construction based on a multipurpose nuclear research.


    • Politics aside, lets leave this nuclear power generation and concentrate on solar. We already receive the most solar energy as a continent. We have yet to manage sewer and storm systems in Zambia, how ready are we to handle nuclear waste?

    • Do we have enough physicists in Zambia now. Here is the Job for them. I remember when I was at UNZA. Only 1 or 2 students used to graduate with a BSC in physics every year.

    • What a joke. Why can’t Russia donate some dustbins which the govt fail to buy instead so that we have less deaths this coming rainy season from Cholera? Nuclear research plant in Zambia will serve no purpose at all except for some underhand dealings. Such a sad move this is.

  1. Good luck with the Russian nuclear reactor and maintenance of it, before they begin building ask them what happened in Chernobyl and if they can avoid such a disaster coz we don’t have the money to abandon a whole town or city.

    • The global radioisotope market was valued at $9.6 billion in 2016, with medical radioisotopes accounting for about 80% of this, and it is poised to reach about $17 billion by 2021. North America is the dominant market for diagnostic radioisotopes with close to half of the market share, while Europe accounts for about 20% (

      I post the above snippet of info in order to show the size of market and importancy nulear medicine in today’s world. So fear not!

      Although the Chernobyl, Ukraine (former Soviet Union), April 26, 1986 disaster is the most famous and by implication your post suggests Russian nuclear technology should be feared, there have been other equally catastrophic nuclear disasters/accidents in other Countries. Here is a sample:

      1) Fukushima…

    • Continue…

      1) Fukushima Daiichi
      Fukushima, Japan, March 2011

      2) Three Mile Island
      Middletown, Pennsylvania, USA, March 28, 1978

      3) Enrico Fermi Unit 1
      Frenchtown Charter Township, Michigan, USA, October 5, 1966

      4) SL-1
      Idaho Falls, Idaho, USA, January 3, 196

      5) Sodium Reactor Experiment
      Los Angeles, California, USA, July 1959

      6) Windscale
      Cumberland (now Cumbria), UK, October 10, 1957

      The list is long. My point though is that, nuclear technology is inherently risk and dangerous. But that shouldn’t overshadow the good that it provides, especially in the medical field. Sure, Russians have f#@ked up once in a while. So is everybody else who has engaged in this technology. Nonetheless, to implicitly suggest that Russians have not learned from their mistakes since…

    • This in effect is a Russian nuclear reactor being hosted in a third world country because Russia no longer has space for such.

    • And why would Russia be hosting a nuclear reactor which won’t even be producing WEAPONS’ GRADE ISOTOPES in another Country? Are you telling me Russia doesn’t already have enough capacity to produce all the MEDICAL GRADE nuclear isotopes they need? Really?!

      This fear mongaring is really getting way out of control in our Country. What is so difficult to accept the fact that Zambia simply asked for help from Russia to put up a nuclear reactor, in Zambia, so that our Govt can eventually cut down on expensive importation of medical nuclear isotopes? And why shouldn’t Zambia strive for self-sufficiency in nuclear knowledge/medicine and research by having a reactor built within the Country? What is wrong with that kind of LONG TERM FORESIGHT on the part of our Govt?

  2. Before you start condemning , understand the reason for a research reactor as opposed to a power generation reactor….

    A research reactor , the one proposed for Zambia is to be used in nuclear medical research and xrays and other research like agriculture….a power reactor is used for power generation and is one Zambia can not afford….

  3. it’s this government’s lack of priorities.
    like jay jay rightly pointed out, there are a lot of common ailments that are devastating our communities and claiming lives. we have a lot of work that needs to be done at the ground level before we can start talking about huge investments such as this one.
    another borrowing. the propensity to borrow by these guys should be a source of concern by all Zambians. that’s how they are stealing money, they present all these inflated projects and the mps are so fre aking docile they don’t oppose or question anything.
    this’ another source of income for them, it’s not for the benefit of Zambians.
    Zambians surely need to wake up. we need more pilatos in zambia

    • One of the growing and most devastating ailments is Cancer. Chemotherapy is currently one of the most effective treatment of various forms of Cancer….and guess what constitutes Chemotherapy medicine, yes, nuclear radioisotopes. This kind of medicine/treatment is expensive to import. And you wonder why getting Cancer in Zambia is almost a death sentence, because Govt can’t afford this sort of medicine/therapy on a larger scale for pantients who need it. Those with money can go to places like India or South Africa and get treated. So the benefits maybe worth taking the plunge here.

  4. That’s only to go mother Zambia for a sustainable and guaranteed future in today’s energy needs going by the unpredictability in climatic changes….. Solar and hydro technologies are facing stiff challenges to today’s weather unpredictability. Despite the risks that the nuclear energy comes with, it’s merits outweighs the negatives in the long run.

  5. ba banda I don’t think you fully understand what’s involved.
    from outside looking in you think yeah i’ll bring us electricity, but it’s not as simple as that
    clean energy is way to go
    clean energy is way to go, that’s where the world is focused right now, it has already moved away from nuclear energy. if Zambia wants to be forward thinking that’s where they ought to look
    go to the southern states and see what’s happening, even on the prairies, clean energy
    even if Zambia had the money for such an undertaking, it’d be ill advised. they don’t have money, enough with the borrowing already, to make matters worse, on such useless ventures
    you think kabwe is contaminated? wait until there’s a leak from a nuclear reactor

  6. Nuclear physics is no child play. This is danger territory which demands decipline and knowledge. There is no segregation or tribalism when it com s to nuclear. Muzafa, careful.

  7. We have a lot of highly qualified physists in the country right now. Some of them like Dr. Habatwa Mweene of unza physics department have worked for very powerful physics labs on the planets including nuclear reactors.
    Did you know that unza department of physics already has a nuclear physics department with a lot of radio active materials but they are kept securely?

  8. Even Russians know that we cannot manage to maintain a nuclear reactor. They are just saying this to agitate the Americans.


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