LUSAKA, ZAMBIA – Russian State Nuclear Energy Corporation Rosatom hosted a workshop on nuclear energy and the benefits of nuclear science and technologies development for Zambia. The event was attended by high profile experts, government officials as well as state and private media.
During the workshop representatives of Rosatom showcased Russia’s over 70-year experience in the nuclear field and fully explored the benefits of a Center for Nuclear Science and Technology (CNST) as well as the development of nuclear power plants (NPPs) in the country.
During the discussion Rusatom Overseas Director for Nuclear Research reactors, Dmitry Vysotsky noted that the nuclear research center will make it possible for Zambia to achieve its ambitious socio-economic goals, as the potential of the center has a broad range of applications in medicine, agriculture, mining exploration and industry.
Experts agreed the development of nuclear will make it possible for Zambia to become one of the technological and industrial leaders in Central and Eastern Africa. Lubinda Haabazoka, Senior Lecturer in the School of Business at the Copperbelt University, argued that employment of nuclear technologies will enable Zambia to become a major supplier of agricultural products as well as improve competitiveness in other spheres, such as medicine and education.
Rosatom has already committed to help Zambia prepare personnel for the Center, there are currently a number of Zambian students enrolled at Russian leading Universities, who are studying in various fields of nuclear science.
Experts also agreed upon the notion that the further development of nuclear energy in Zambia would help the country to meet its electricity demand. Nuclear energy is a key component of a clean and sustainable energy strategy, as it addresses the need for greenhouse gas emissions reduction, economic development and energy security.
Viktor Polikarpov, Regional Vice-President of Rosatom Central and Southern Africa highlighted the social and economic benefits of nuclear power for Zambia. “Nuclear energy offers far more than just affordable and clean energy, it stimulates industrial growth, job creation, and ultimately the country’s economy.”
The Head of Business Development for Rusatom Overseas, Dmitry Bazhenov highlighted that the development of nuclear energy will allow Zambia to strengthen its position as one of the leading countries in the continent. He then invited Zambia to start on a “nuclear journey” which will allow the country to become a regional hub for nuclear science and technology and boost its industrial and economic development.
“We have to align and coordinate all activities on the development of nuclear infrastructure, human resources training and the public acceptance in a timely manner to ensure an NPP is commissioned on time and in compliance with the highest international quality and safety standards,” noted Bazhenov.
The function was officiated by Cabinet Office Permanent Secretary for Administration, Mr Owen Mgemezulu, who represented Secretary to the Cabinet, Roland Msiska. He emphasized the need for Zambia to urgently embrace nuclear science.
Other speeches were from Ministry of Higher Education and Ministry of Energy Permanent Secretaries.
The Zambian presenters during the workshop were Center for Nuclear Science Technology Interim Secretariat national coordinator Mr Reuben Katebe, University of Zambia, Dean, School of Health Sciences Professor Esther Munalula, and Radiation Protection Authority chief executive officer Mr Boster Siwila.
Others were Copperbelt University lecturer Dr Lubinda Haabazoka, Cancer Diseases Hospital Senior Medical Superintendent Dr Lewis Banda, and University Teaching Hospital Nuclear Medicine Specialist Dr Aubrey Musonda.