The IAEA delivered the final report of a peer review mission that reviewed Uganda's infrastructure development for a nuclear power programme.
The Integrated Nuclear Infrastructure Review (INIR) mission was conducted from 29 November to 6 December 2021 at the invitation of the Government of Uganda. An IAEA team of experts reviewed the status of nuclear infrastructure development as outlined for Phase 1 of the IAEA's Milestones Approach. This three-phased, comprehensive method guides a country to develop necessary environment to build a nuclear power plant and enables to understand the commitments and obligations associated with developing a safe, secure and sustainable nuclear power programme.
Electricity demand in Uganda, an East African country of 43 million people, has increased significantly in recent years as the economy has expanded. To diversify an energy mix based primarily on hydroelectricity, Uganda has taken steps towards introducing nuclear power.
Aline des Cloizeaux, Director of the Nuclear Power Division of the IAEA Department of Nuclear Energy, handed over the INIR report to Ugandan President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni on 9 May in the capital, Kampala.
'The INIR mission concluded that the Government of Uganda is committed to developing the required infrastructure for nuclear power in a coordinated approach with all concerned stakeholders,' said des Cloizeaux. She noted that Uganda has conducted a number of pre-feasibility studies and drafted a Nuclear Power Roadmap which will serve as the basis for making an informed decision by the Government on whether to proceed with the development of a nuclear power programme. The Roadmap should be finalized together with completion of remaining studies, she added.
The INIR mission team made several recommendations and suggestions to assist Uganda in making further progress in its nuclear infrastructure development, such as finalizing national policies to support the nuclear power programme, strengthening plans to develop a national legal framework and join international legal instruments, and completing its studies to better prepare for the next phase of programme implementation. The team also identified good practices in the areas of national position, stakeholder involvement and industrial involvement.
'Embarking on nuclear power is the sovereign decision of any country. The IAEA can provide the support but the major responsibility for moving the programme forward is with the country,' said des Cloizeaux. 'The development of Uganda's own human resources, skills and competence is an important factor for the sustainability of a nuclear power programme.'
Uganda is developing nuclear power because hydropower alone will not be sufficient to meet national development targets, President Museveni said. In addition to electricity generation, nuclear energy will be used for 'medical and agricultural purposes', he added.
Uganda has developed a national action plan to address these recommendations and suggestions. With this action plan, Uganda and the IAEA will develop an Integrated Work Plan to identify the IAEA activities to support Uganda's efforts for nuclear power infrastructure development.
About INIR Missions
Integrated Nuclear Infrastructure Review missions enable IAEA Member State representatives to have in-depth discussions with international experts about conditions and best international practices in the development of a nuclear power programme. In developing its recommendations, the INIR team considers the comments made by the relevant national organizations. Implementation of any of the team's recommendations is at the discretion of the Member State requesting the mission. The IAEA publishes the INIR mission report on its website 90 days after its delivery to the Member State, unless the State requests in writing that the IAEA not do so.
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