Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Joseph Malanji with the Zambia Delegation visiting the Nuclear Research Centre in Russia
FILE: Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Joseph Malanji with the Zambia Delegation visiting the Nuclear Research Centre in Russia

THE Nuclear Energy Programme Implementing Organisation (NEPIO) says the introduction of nuclear energy in the country will bring about the much needed development the country needs.

NEPIO National Coordinator, Dr. RUEBEN KATEBE said the development would trickle down to every Zambian.

Dr. KATEBE said this during the Kwacha Good Morning Programme on the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) yesterday.

He said once the project was implemented, treatment of cancer patients at the University Teaching Hospital (UTH) which in most cases is hampered by shortage of isotopes, would be a thing of the past.

Dr. KATEBE said patients would no longer have to wait in queues for isotopes to be imported from South Africa, which is the only country in the southern hemisphere that produces them.

He added that the mining sector would also be a major beneficiary of the Programme as they would be able to get cheaper electricity.

As a country, Dr. KATEBE said the project would employ neutron activation techniques which would enable the scanning of the exact value of minerals to be exported for correct taxation.

The NEPIO National coordinator also stated with the coming of this technology in the country, agricultural products would go through a process of irradiation which lengthens the shelf life of the product as well as eliminate all forms of bacteria and pests.

“As you may be aware, for us to reach the European market, we have to prove to the international community that our products do not contain insects and this will require nuclear technology, “said Dr. Katebe.

Dr. Katebe also noted that nuclear is the safest and most reliable form of energy which does not produce Carbon dioxide.

He further stated that the nuclear programme in Zambia was at its initial stage of planning and required certain milestones to be achieved before full implementation.

Dr. KATEBE pointed out that for a country to go into the nuclear world, there were certain milestones required to be met in line with the provisions of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

This is an agency of the UN which is the watchdog of the programme and would only grant a licence to a country upon fulfilling the licensing requirements.

Dr. KATEBE also noted that it would take approximately ten years before the power plant is finally set up to allow for certain requirements such as human resource development to be fulfilled.

He said to start with there is need to build the human resource capacity which was a very big component in the nuclear programme adding that training of such personnel has commenced.

About 1000 highly qualified personnel would be required and this would be achieved through the partnership with experts already in the industry.

Currently, the main partner is ROSATOM, the Russian company which has been in the industry for a long time and are ready to impart more knowledge in the Zambian personnel.

Dr. Katebe said the programme is intended to help the country acquire nuclear technology for development of the country and ultimately produce electricity from nuclear reaction.

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13 COMMENTS

  1. Why is he talking about the power plant ? Is that the plan ?? I thought the research center was first

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    • Dr Katebe is building castles in the air, Nuclear energy in Zambia and to benefit Zambians, my foot? what a shear waste of money and resources

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    • You can’t put garbage bins and drainages to prevent cholera and you want to have a nuclear power plant? What planet are you from? A day will come soon when these out of touch with reality technocrats and senior govt officials who have no real interest in seeing Zambia attain equitable development will be judged accordingly. They drive their comfortable luxury 4x4s in our pot riddled streets and on our terrible feeder roads so they have no idea how bad the situation is on the ground, go to an expensive uptown shopping mall and you will find half of the vehicles that come there are govt owned, these so called technocrats are the problem with Zambia and Africa in general.

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  2. We should be worried, that “once the project was implemented, treatment of cancer patients at the University Teaching Hospital (UTH) which in most cases is hampered by shortage of isotopes, would be a thing of the past”. (paragraph 4)

    Or has the good Dr. been misquoted by LT?

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  3. @ no 1 , that was my understanding the last time i read about this. …
    Nuclear reactors? ..Seriously? These things carry serious safety implications. Let’s hope that in ten years we’ll have built enough capacity to run nuclear reactors and meet the criteria for a license. It would be nice to have cheaper electricity. Zesco already planning to increase tarrifs after doubling them just 2 years ago.!

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  4. WHY WASTE TIME AND MONEY ON NUCLEAR POWER IN ZAMBIA
    1)Zambia has 60% of “FREE” and “RENEWABLE” water resources in the SADC region with an estimated 6GW of undeveloped hydropower potential.Only 27% of hydropower has been harnessed.
    2)Zambia has an average 2,000-3,000 hours of “FREE” sunshine per year with an estimated solarpower potential of 2.3GWh/m2/year.
    AFTER THE CHINESE,THEY NOW WANT LOANS AND KICKBACKS FROM THE RUSSIANS.

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  5. I am no expert in energy but to suggest that nuclear energy is the safest is a blue lie and the highest level of dishonesty. The safest energy source remains the SUN. Yes, the sun. We can harvest solar energy and produce clean electricity without the risks of accidents associated with nuclear energy. Who doesn’t remember the accident in Russia with nuclear and how it decimated life in an almost entire city? Let’s be serious as a country. Russia wants to use us a pawn in its global efforts to be a super power again. We can harvest solar and wind and generate enough power for everyone. We are only 18 million people. We don’t have power needs of China or Turkey or India.

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  6. And you some with the initials DR , who thinks Zambia can handle nuclear power generation when we can not even clean markets ???

    We are doomed …..

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  7. They know that they have messed up with the roads and can’t continue because the roads that they have constructed only last one rain season and aware that the citizenry is now awake. So they think nuclear is the new song because most Zambians don’t know what it is. They are failing to pay salaries now they want to talk nuclear. Kick these bastards out now.

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  8. We have no capacity to handle nuclear power even just building a nuclear power plant. Let us tread carefully.

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  9. We all know the nuclear project is for medical and other scientific purposes , not power generation which is beyond Zambia , is the Dr lying or just ignorant ?

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  10. “New nuclear stations will not help the fight against climate change because major CO2 reductions are needed in the next ten years. New nuclear power stations could not be built fast enough.” – UK Green Party.

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