Monday, April 15, 2024

Africa explores nuclear energy to boost power supplies

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Sixty years after the first nuclear weapons tests were conducted in Africa, many countries on continent are exploring how nuclear energy could be used for socio-economic development.

Seventeen African states have already expressed interest: some have active nuclear research and development programmes, while others are investigating the possibility of a nuclear build. For the time being, South Africa has the continent’s only operational nuclear power plant, but this will change in the near future.

To promote knowledge and awareness around the peaceful use of nuclear energy in Africa, there is a need to strengthen relevant bodies responsible for nuclear governance on the continent and improve national-level legislation on nuclear safety and security. The following four videos [AllAfrica editors’ note – see links on this page, and the SAIIA website] and these key messages and policy recommendations aim to promote public debate on how the continent could harness nuclear power to achieve its development goals.

Many African countries already possess natural resources required for nuclear energy, and according to Article IV of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, have the right to the peaceful use of nuclear technology. This could specifically be used to achieve developmental objectives in the African Union’s long-term vision Agenda 2063 and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) endorsed by the United Nations. However, with rights come responsibilities. Read more…

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