Saturday, June 22, 2024

Nuclear energy can be an answer to electricity deficit-Kalunga



Information and Media Permanent Secretary, Kennedy Kalunga says investment in nuclear energy has immense benefits of reliable, affordable and clean source of electricity.

Mr Kalunga says nuclear energy provides electricity that is not affected by fluctuations in weather patterns.

He says Zambia like many other countries has experienced fluctuations in rainfall patterns arising from climate change which has resulted in deficits in hydro power generation.

Mr Kalunga says the decline in hydro power generation has negatively impacted on the country’s economic development.

He says the nuclear energy programme has other great benefits such as its use in the provision of health services such as diagnosis and treatment of cancer.

Mr Kalunga was speaking when he opened a three-day Media capacity building and sensitization workshop on the nuclear programme in Zambia in Lusaka today.

He said there is currently low knowledge levels of nuclear technologies in the country which has created information gaps filled with suspicion and fear and called on the media to help close the information gaps.

Meanwhile, Technology and Science Acting Permanent Secretary Mala Sikazwe said her Ministry has developed two draft bills to establish the nuclear Regulator and the nuclear Coordinating agency which will accelerate public sensitization once enacted into law.

She said the workshop has been organised to unbundle the implementation strategy for the nuclear programme that focuses on first sensitization of Media personnel and through them the public.

National Energy Programme Implementation Organisation (NAPIO) National Coordinator Reuben Katebe said it is a requirement to get public acceptance on any nuclear programme before it is implemented, hence the need for the Media to help sensitise the public on nuclear technology and instill knowledge that will result into acceptance.


  1. Kalunga is crazy. Nuclear power is expensive, dangerous and it takes twenty years to build a plant. And Zambia got LOTS of sunshine and LOTS of wind which is free. And building a solar plant takes less than a year!

  2. Building a nuclear power plant in zambia is like giving a loaded gun to a five year old. We are even failing to manage kariba.

  3. Can’t even have a regular garbage collection regime………….

    How will you handle nuclear waiste ?

  4. Nuclear is expensive and a country needs to have a very high level of safety and maintenance schedule which we can’t afford let alone the construction. One has got to look at the Chernobyl disaster to understand what is involved. The current proposed projects at ZESCO are achievable within a short period of time. The no 1 proposed project that can be a game changer is batoka gorge. This would be cheaper and more viable than dreaming about nuclear energy.

  5. @one said, we need to harness solar energy. The island of Singapore, having run out of land, opted to innovate and place solar panels on the sea. That’s how valuable the sun is.
    In some parts of the world, the sun only shines for about four months of the year and solar contributes to the national power grid.
    Zambia, please utilize your natural resources, please. Why are we like this?

  6. Building a nuclear power plant doesn’t take 20 years. The UAE new nuclear plant was built in 5 years and they previously did not have skills or expertise in the field. South Africa is the only country in Africa with a commercial nuclear plant. Egypt is about to start with the construction of their first nuclear power plant. Great development for Africa. We need to power up our nations and put an end to energy poverty while addressing many socio-economic issues. Renewables alone will not lead us to the promise land of a “prosperous Africa based on economic growth and sustainable development”, the Africa we want. Hence our energy mix must include nuclear. Energy projects require both short-term and long-term planning. Nuclear energy is a solution for not only the current generation but many…

  7. @Princess, nuclear has waste which cannot be disposed of properly ever.
    The sun will always be there, and if we go with global warming, we kill two birds with one stone with solar these being utilizing the heat and preventing further climate change.
    Solar is cheaper and readily available for Zambia. We have the land and we have can spend less than a quarter of what a nuclear plant would cost.

  8. Good idea but if only we can have a nuclear plant specifically targeting a particular industry – lets say the mining industry then lets build one in copperbelt and another in NW then the surplus from Hydro can then be exported to south Africa or any other neighbouring country experiencing shortfalls. Also we can encourage solar to be used at domestic level beacuse at large scale batteries can go flat

  9. Chiza all technologies have waste. The positive thing about nuclear waste is that it is small and manageable. SA has over 55 years of having nuclear reactors but the waste is just half the size of a tennis court. Also, that waste is handled with delicacy by highly qualified experts. It doesn’t and had never been a problem in the history of nuclear existence. Zambia’s electricity mix already includes solar, hydro, etc. however, the country still faces power cuts. Also, the country remains one of the poorest on the continent with many people living in extreme poverty. In order to address all that, the country needs the security of energy supply which will attract investors. No one is saying solar and wind should not be part of the mix. However we need to be realistic about what they can and…

  10. @11, our investment in solar energy is negligible. It’s less than 1 percent of our electricity generation. Nuclear reactor would cost 1.5billion at the very least.
    If we invest half a billion in solar farms, that would make all the difference. And maintenance of solar equipment is easy and straightforward. We don’t have more than 2 nuclear energy scientists in Zambia.

    • Chiza, we need energy debates that are constructive and backed with verified information. I don’t agree that Zambia has only 2 nuclear scientists as I know about 5 and more than 5 who are currently studying overseas. Let’s say for argument sake that’s the case; I work in nuclear sector and can assure you that it doesn’t take nuclear scientists only to operate a reactor. There are different types of scientists working there. Like I said, investing in solar seems “cheap” (not really the case) simply because it’s a short term solution and also, it is an unreliable source which has little to contribute to infrastructure development. Discussions should move to different funding models for nuclear instead of rejecting it on the basis of rejecting it.

  11. Your chi hh is even allowing Americans to set up military bases here. Now this. Mwaaaneeeya ba sheety

  12. It doesnt matter how many nuclear scientists we have, we just dont have the money to build a nuclear station and eeven worse to maintain it. How do you start talking about a nuclear power station when you dont have tap water for two thirds of the country? Have rational priorities. STOP DREAMING!!

    • Rome wasn’t built in one day. It started as a dream which was turned into reality. Every country that is developed had to start somewhere. In other nations, government get support from their citizens while in Africa, we use every opportunity to criticise our government. Again, addressing energy poverty will solve many challenges including lack of clean water for community.

    • And Lusaka was built in a day?? Iam just saying stop trying to shut us up with the cliches that are giving you this very cliched line of thought: that we should do every little thing the European man does.. When did anyone dream about Rome? Who did? You Africans like embellishing white people’s idolisations etching them into stone. because you want to glorify every white achievement. Because the Europeans have nuclear we must have nuclear?. We have our own path to tread and the sooner we realise that the sooner we will see the first step towards development.

  13. @Princess, so five makes the difference? I would challenge you to name those five, the two I know are not even in Zambia at the moment, with one being a student in the Nordic.
    You state that you work in a nuclear reactor, well and good for you, although I must state it’s for an expert, you are exceedingly ignorant in saying it doesn’t require nuclear scientists to operate, have you heard of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster? The Fukushima nuclear disaster?
    I challenge you to state why solar is a short term solution for a country that always has plenty of sunlight? I would go on statistics for countries..
    Again, I would like to think that our discussion right now is constructive and has facts, let’s maintain it that way.

  14. And Lusaka was built in a day?? Iam just saying stop trying to shut us up with the cliches that are giving you this very cliched line of thought: that we should do every little thing the European man does.. When did anyone dream about Rome? Who did? You Africans like embellishing white people’s idolisations etching them into stone. because you want to glorify every white achievement. Because the Europeans have nuclear we must have nuclea?. We have our own path to tread and the sooner we realise that the sooner we will see the first step towards development.

    • To say that you’re being silenced is rather preposterous. My input was about embracing an energy mix which includes renewables. By the way Europe also has renewables and they started there. Therefore all these technologies started with white people. However my argument was not even about white vs blacks, but rather about socio-economic challenges that Zambia faces which need a practical approach through an energy mix. Chirwa, I work in the nuclear and sharing my experience. You’re arguing from a “hearsay” position.

  15. This is madness, a landlocked country whose hydro power stations are failings because of elnino now dreaming of nuclear plants! What if the water to cool the nuclear core runs out because of drought? That’s cause for a chain reaction that will lead to a meltdown, we are talking Fukushima Nuclear disaster here. I just hope if it’s built it’s in your provinces since you like to take it all. Have you ever wondered why 99 percent of all nuclear plants are in coastal areas, uninterrupted source of water as a nuclear coolant. That Nkandu Luo was expose to weapons grade radiation that’s why one minute she sees buildings and the next minute they’re disappearing, that’s exposure for you.

  16. Forget nuclear in Zambia, with some of you’s thieving culture and regional development tribalistic bigotry, you will locate the plant in a place in your province along a kama seasonal stream. Start stealing spares. When drought comes and water dries out, elyo bebele Iekeniluunye lwakwa Noah.,.

  17. @Princess, for an expert, your ignorance is beautifully amazing. Firstly, you state that because the UAE built their nuclear plant within 5 years, conveniently forgetting that the UAE has several individuals who are much richer than the whole Zambia.
    We are stalling to build universities of 300 million and you are going on about 2billion for a project that requires highly skilled people. That’s just the economics of it.
    You are placing yourself on a pedestal of expertise but haven’t brought up anything worthwhile. If I happen to work for Nokia here, does that make me an expert in saying Zambia should built her own technology company and supply 5g technology? The logical thing would be for me to advocate that Zambia focus on production of components used in technology.
    Zambia should…

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