United Party for National Development – UPND Chairperson for Energy Charles Kaisala says Zambia has no capacity to maintain a nuclear energy power plant.
Mr Kaisala explained that sustaining a nuclear energy power plant is too expensive and risky to the Zambian people, adding that the materials used remain radio active which is dangerous to human health for thousands of years.
He further explained that the UPND Administration is on course to ensure that the energy sector becomes self-sustaining by creating diversity and reducing dependence on hydro power.
“Nuclear is a very dangerous technology to handle, and looking at our capacity because if you look at most of the developed countries they are even switching off these nuclear reactors,” he said
“As UPND we haven’t come up with a concrete arrangement on the nuclear way forward, but on my personal view, understanding nuclear plants is very expensive and in Africa, I think we only have a nuclear energy plant in South Africa, so, do we have the capacity as a country to do nuclear and the safety that goes with doing nuclear, we are able to amintain the safety levels that are required, that is a million dollar question that I will leave to the Technocrats maybe to inter-relay,” he added
Mr Kaisala has since called on the private sector to come on board inorder to set up other energy generating facilities.
Meanwhile, Leadership Movement – LM President Richard Silumbe says the notion that nuclear energy is dangerous and very expensive is neither here nor there.
Speaking in an interview, Dr. Silumbe said the narrative that Nuclear Energy is dangerous is advanced by people who are backward and do not know what development is all about
He said it can only take three years to have an effective Nuclear Power Plant which can be installed anywhere in the country.
Dr. Silumbe wondered how the country can fail to run a Nuclear Power Plant when it is bigger than many European Countries that have effectively implemented the project.
“How can you justify that Nuclear Energy is dangerous when in Asia, America and Europe there are mushrooming Nuclear Power Plants? because that is a absolute solution to power,” he said
The LM Leader said the country has natural resources for a complete Nuclear Power Plant which can be installed in different parts of the country.
The conservative Dr. Silumbe said Zambia has Uranium and Lead in Kabwe that can be used to protect Nuclear waste, adding that the country has Boron that is used in Nuclear Power Plants to excite and enrich Uranium.
Dr. Silumbe said whether the Nuclear Power Plant is set up in Zambia today or not, the fact is that after 100 years, there will be mushrooming of such mines in the rest of Africa and Zambians of today will be gnashing their teeth for being a generation that failed to implement the project.
“All we need is technology in terms of understanding the enrichment of Uranium and using Uranium itself as fuel. So, when it comes to Nuclear Power Plant, just like Maamba Collieries, we remove the burning of Coal and replace it with a Nuclear Reactor to produce the energy needed to heat the water to run the turbines. The whole thing is about Nuclear Reactors where we need to enrich Uranium and use it as fuel. There is nothing more complicated about it,” he said, ” We want as a Leadership Movement to move with technology and solve problems not only in Zambia but Africa at large. When we produce thousands of Megawatts, we will be able to export power to the rest of the Continent,” he said