Goverment defends new Atomic Energy Bill

Peter 12th Jun, 2024 Energy Pedson Mumbere
Goverment defends new Atomic Energy Bill

Energy Minister Nankabirwa makes her presentation as Kisolo, the Uganda Atomic Energy Council chairman, looks on


Environmental activists have put the Government on the defensive over the new Bill that it has drafted to replace the Atomic Energy Act of 2008.

At a consultative workshop in Kampala to discuss the new Atomic Energy Bill of 2024, environmental activists argued that Uganda lacks the capacity and preparedness to safely manage nuclear energy, citing potential environmental and safety risks.

However, Ruth Nankabirwa, the Energy and Mineral Resources minister, appeared to downplay the concerns, saying comprehensive measures are being taken to ensure Uganda's readiness.

  • "Our commitment to nuclear energy is grounded in rigorous planning and adherence to international safety standards," she asserted. "We have engaged with global experts and stakeholders to develop a robust framework that prioritizes the safety of our people and the environment."

Akisophel Kisolo, who chairs the Uganda Atomic Energy Council, added that the country is making significant progress towards utilizing nuclear energy.

"We are on course to have nuclear energy in Uganda," Kisolo stated confidently, while highlighting the ongoing efforts to establish the necessary infrastructure, regulatory frameworks, and technical expertise to support the safe and effective use of nuclear power.

  • The new law provides for the expansion of the Uganda Atomic Energy Council from five to eight members and the establishment of the Uganda Nuclear Energy Company to manage the country’s commercial interests in the nuclear industry.

However, critics are not comfortable with some sections of the new law which appears to give the Minister too much power to appoint members, and the requirement that the Council must comply with all the minister’s directives at all times.

In March, experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) facilitated at a high-level meeting in Kampala to discuss nuclear law and raise awareness about the relevant international legal instruments under IAEA auspices and to improve the coun-try’s legal framework in regard to nuclear safety, security, safeguards and liability.

Nankabirwa emphasized the critical need for nuclear energy in Uganda's energy mix, noting that it offers a reliable and sustainable solution to the country's growing electricity demands.

She also noted that Uganda's move towards nuclear energy aligns with global trends, where many countries are adopting nuclear power to reduce carbon emissions and combat climate change.

  • However, nuclear energy faces challenges globally related to public perception and acceptance, including concerns about safety, environmental risks, and the legacy of past disasters involving nuclear power plants in highly developed countries.
  • The activists say that while nuclear energy offers potential benefits in terms of low-carbon electricity generation and energy security, policymakers must carefully weigh these benefits against the serious risks associated with nuclear power including radioactive waste that could contaminate soil, water, and air for very many years.

However, the Government has remained resolute in its determination to develop nuclear power for peaceful means, using its locally available uranium deposits.

The minister is set to set table the new Bill before Parliament for debate in the coming weeks.

Similar Posts You May Like 

  • Simba Telecom and d.light Partner to Distribute Solar Products in Uganda

    Simba Telecom and d.light Partner to Distribute Solar Products in Uganda..

    Simba Telecom Uganda, a leading telecommunications company, and d.light, a global leader in solar-powered solutions, have signed a partnership agreement to distribute solar solutions across Uganda. Under the partnership, Simba Telecom Uganda will expand its product offerings to include d.light's ..

  • Uganda targets $4 billion in green investment deals at COP28 in Dubai

    Uganda targets $4 billion in green investment deals at COP28 in Dubai..

    The Uganda Investment Authority (UIA) is participating in the 28th Conference of the Parties (COP 28) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change with an ambitious target of clinching four billion dollars in green investment deals...

  • Dubai COP28 endorses new declaration, but with no crude oil exit plan

    Dubai COP28 endorses new declaration, but with no crude oil exit plan..

    A new draft for the final declaration of the UN Climate Change Conference in Dubai does not include the clear phase-out of coal, oil and gas demanded by many countries...

  • Excitement as Nigeria's Dangote refinery starts production

    Excitement as Nigeria's Dangote refinery starts production..

    The Dangote Oil Refinery, the largest on the continent at 650,000 barrels per day (bpd), has begun producing diesel and aviation fuel, the company said on January 13. ..

  • PSFU, Dutch launch UGX14 bn renewable energy project

    PSFU, Dutch launch UGX14 bn renewable energy project..

    The Private Sector Foundation Uganda (PSFU) in partnership with the Netherlands Directorate General for International Cooperation (DGIS) have launched a renewable energy project worth 3.4 million Euros (about UGX14 billion), aimed at on increasing access to solar and clean cooking technologies in 13..

  • Relief as UNOC finally secures Kenyan oil import licence

    Relief as UNOC finally secures Kenyan oil import licence..

    The Uganda National Oil Company (UNOC) will effective next month start importing petroleum products through Kenya following the end of a bitter dispute between the two regional partners over direct oil imports through the Kenyan port of Mombasa...

  • Shell launches engine oil campaign for motorcycles

    Shell launches engine oil campaign for motorcycles..

    Shell Uganda has launched a new campaign to promote the use of Shell Advance AX5, a new premium quality 4-stroke motorcycle engine oil, which helps to clean and protect the engine by preventing the build-up of deposits and maintaining engine cleanliness. ..

  • Uganda getting set for 24,000 megawatts nuclear plant

    Uganda getting set for 24,000 megawatts nuclear plant ..

    Uganda's uranium exploration is gaining momentum to meet global energy demands, with plans for a 24,000MW nuclear power station by 2040, Irene Batebe, the permanent secretary for the ministry of Energy and Minerals Development, has said. ..

  • Dubai Businessman Maktoum awarded top national honour

    Dubai Businessman Maktoum awarded top national honour..

    President Yoweri Museveni has conferred the country’s top honour, the Order of the Crested Crane 1st Class Medal, upon Sheikh Mohammed Bin Maktoum Bin Jumah Al Maktoum from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), in recognition of his exceptional contribution to Uganda’s socio-economic transformation...

  • Spiro unveils UGX3.8 million electric motorcycle

    Spiro unveils UGX3.8 million electric motorcycle..

    Spiro, a leading electric motorbike manufacturer and clean energy provider in Africa, has launched its electric motorcycles on the Ugandan market. ..

Most Recent