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    Nuclear Energy Can Address Energy Challenges in Africa


    November 23, 2022 - Ryan Collyer

     

      To promote sustainable development in Africa, nuclear technologies can play great role in putting the environment safe and have reliable energy supply.

      Many nations and particularly developing nations in Africa are currently formulating strategies on how to address their energy supply challenges, and find the optimum energy mix to support their ambitious economic and socio-economic goals.

      These are crucial decisions that will affect the future of these nations and their populations for generations to come.

      Formulating the optimum energy mix is based on a balancing act known as the energy trilemma which consists of security of supply, cost efficiency and environmental impact. Nuclear is one of the only energy sources that ticks all of these boxes and therefore is a very logical addition to any energy mix.

      Speaking of environmental impact, it no secret that global warming is here, it's real and it's time we did something about it.

      According to recent data, world sea levels have risen by over 20 centimeters since 1870. The planet's average surface temperature has seen an increase of 1.1 degrees Celsius since the late 19th century at first glance it may seem like and insignificant change but it is one that is triggering massive environmental consequences, including droughts, extreme weather patterns as well as the melting of the Arctic ice sheets among many others.

      Clean energy sources should not be fighting for pole position in the global energy mix, but rather be utilized together to preserve this beautiful and diverse planet of ours.

      Nuclear has a key role to play in decarbonizing our global energy production. By way of example, the 10th Nuclear Power Plants (NPPs) that currently operate in Russia satisfy 33 percent of the electricity requirements in its European region. Together, they prevent the release of 200 million tons of Carbon Dioxide emissions annually. This is significant input into reaching the decarbonization goals under the Paris agreement.

      Beyond power production nuclear technology offers vital solutions for healthcare and agriculture, mining and science.

      Globally childhood cancer cases are estimated at 250,000 annually and only 30 percent of children with cancer in developing countries received treatment. Over 100,000 deaths from childhood cancer worldwide could be prevented annually if all children had equal access to diagnosis and treatment.

      Today, about one-third of all procedures used in modern hospitals involve radiation or radioactivity. These procedures are among the most effective life-saving tools available, they are safe, painless and in most cases do not require anesthesia. They are helpful to a broad span of medical specialties beyond the treatment of cancer, from pediatrics to cardiology and even psychiatry.

      Nuclear medicine will play a hugely important role in improving the standard living of millions of people across the planet.

      Ryan Collyer is the CEO of Rosatom Central and Southern Africa

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