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Russia, South Korea to build two nuclear power stations in Uganda

Author: Monitor | Published: Sunday, August 13, 2023

A nuclear power station, Koeberg, Western Cape, South Africa. PHOTO |SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY via AFP

Russia and South Korea will build two nuclear power stations that will generate 15,600 megawatts of power in Uganda, President Yoweri Museveni says.

He said one unit will generate 7,000MW while another would produce 8,400MW, but the timeline and the funding of the projects isn’t yet known.

“We have agreed with the Russia and South Korea to build two uranium power stations for electricity,” President Museveni said at a coffee summit on Tuesday.

This is not the first time government officials have talked about the construction of a nuclear station in Uganda.

In 2016, Russian owned Rosatom State Atomic Energy Corporation officials visited Uganda and signed a deal with state authorities on the development of the nuclear station, but the project didn’t take off.

Currently, Uganda is struggling to find money to fund the development of hydro dams that are cheaper than the nuclear power station.

Uganda current power generation capacity is 1402MW and only have a power for only 800MW leaving the rest not consumed. The government plans to export power abroad.

President Museveni said Uganda has uranium deposits, a mineral used for the production of nuclear power, and several investors have approached him to mine them for export which he rejected.

“A western company proposed to mine uranium. I asked them, ‘mine it and take it where?’ They said export it. I asked export it for what purpose? They told me, ‘We want to take uranium’,” President Museveni said.

He said he refused because Uganda still has power challenged and that if they wanted uranium, they should start by processing it here for power generation.

He further said the company executives didn’t return.

He also said he banned export of raw materials because the country would lose money and jobs if the raw materials are processed abroad.

Citing an example, he said an Indian investor in iron ore approached him to mine and export iron ore to India, but in his investigations, he found out that Uganda has only going to get $47 (Ush168,000) from a tonne of iron ore and if it was processed the investors would make $700 (Ush2.5m) from the quantity of raw material.

“I told them that to process the iron from here,” he said.

Recently, the president also banned export of timbers on the same principles.

He said only wooden furniture that has been made in Uganda would be exported.

He also directed government agencies not to buy imported furniture when there are local manufacturers who make the same products.

 

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