Uganda To Begin Nuclear Power Generation By 2031

The country aims to construct first nuclear plant in East Africa.

By Chriselle Moraes on
3rd April 2023

The Ugandan government is looking for ways to ramp up its energy production and speed up its energy transition in response to its climate change initiative. The country's energy transition plans include the optimisation of it’s Uranium reserves by constructing the first East African nuclear plant. 

The government has plans to generate at least 1,000 megawatts of nuclear power by 2031. Uganda’s Vision 2040 includes the development of nuclear energy as part of its future energy mix.

"Uganda is making firm steps to integrate nuclear energy into the electricity generation mix to ensure energy security and provide sufficient electricity for industrialization,” said Ruth Nankabirwa Ssentamu, Uganda's Energy and Mines Minister.

“Preparation to evaluate the Buyende Nuclear Power Plant site is ongoing to pave the way for the first nuclear power project expected to generate 2,000 MW, with the first 1,000 MW to be connected to the national grid by 2031,” said Ssentamu. 

The Buyende site of the proposed nuclear power plant is approximately 150 kilometres north of Kampala. Buyende was chosen as a potential site after comprehensive evaluations in 2019. Other sites identified were in Nakasongola and Lamwo districts.

“The land requirement is estimated at 30 square kilometres, but the reason we’re looking at 30 square kilometres is because of the emergency zones. Where the nuclear plant will be about 1 square kilometre, enough to construct a plant of 2,000 megawatts, but for the safety of the environment and the people around the nuclear plant, always gazette emergency zones around the nuclear power plant and this land may be utilised by the locals - they can use it for farming as long as they don’t exceed the required limit,” said Emmanuel Wamala, Assistant Commissioner for Nuclear Fuel & Radioactive Waste.

The nuclear plant will be constructed in collaboration with China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC), which signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Ugandan Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development in 2018. 

The deal stipulates peaceful uses of nuclear energy, and both parties prioritized applying nuclear technology in medicine, agriculture, and industry.

Top Photo: Nuclear power plant with cooling towers and emissions of steam into the atmosphere - Stock Image (Leonid Sorokin | Dreamstime)

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