Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has announced plans to construct the country’s first-ever nuclear facility marking a major step into the country’s energy sector.
The move is aimed at addressing Uganda’s energy deficit and meeting the country’s growing demand for electricity.
The new facility will be built with the help from Russian nuclear experts and will be located in the western district of Hoima.
President Museveni asserted that the facility will be used for research and training purposes and not military purposes as initially purported by some elements in the media.
The announcement was made during a speech at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) conference in Vienna, Austria where Museveni expressed his excitement at the prospect of Uganda joining the small group of African countries that have nuclear facilities.
“This is a historic moment for Uganda,” Museveni said. “The construction of this nuclear faculty will enable us to harness the immense potential of nuclear energy to meet our growing energy needs and drive economic growth.”
The Ugandan government has been exploring the possibility of developing nuclear power since 2010. According to the country’s energy ministry, nuclear power has the potential to provide a stable source of electricity that is not affected by weather conditions or the price fluctuations of fossil fuels.
However, the move has not been without controversy. Some environmental groups have raised concerns about the safety of nuclear power and its potential impact on the environment. The government has sought to allay these fears by emphasizing its commitment to safety and ensuring that the facility is built to international standards.
Despite these concerns, the announcement has been met with optimism by a larger number of Ugandans who see it as a sign of progress and development for the country.
Construction of the new facility is set to begin in the coming months, with the aim of having it operational by 2030.