Uganda says Russia and South Korea will build its nuclear power plants

President Museveni to the left of Vladimir Putin at the 2019 Russia–Africa summit (Kremlin/CC BY-SA 4.0)
Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni said this week that Russia and South Korea would build two nuclear power stations in his country, the Anadolu news agency reports.

He told the G-25 Africa Coffee Summit in Kampala that negotiations with Russia and South Korea were complete.

“Russia and South Korea are going to build two nuclear power plants of 15GW,” he said. “The nuclear project comes at a critical time when nations are dealing with how to ensure energy security for socio-economic development.”

That amount of generation would be a massive increase in Uganda’s installed capacity, which stands at 1.3GW, and an even greater surplus on its 800MW of domestic demand.

However, Museveni has said in the past that nuclear power is one of his priorities, as it would be the best way to bring electricity to the 41% of Ugandans living in extreme poverty, according to 2019 data.

The discovery of large uranium deposits in eastern Uganda is contributing to the country’s interest in nuclear power.

Museveni did not give any details of South Korea’s involvement in his nuclear plans, although state nuclear engineer Kepco has been looking to capitalise on its success in building the Barakah plant in the UAE.

In May last year, the International Atomic Energy Agency approved Uganda’s plan to build East Africa’s first nuclear power station, and in March this year, it was reported that Uganda had signed a cooperation deal with China National Nuclear Corporation.

At the time, Ruth Nankabirwa Ssentamu, the energy minister, said the government’s aim was to generate 2GW, with the first phase connected to the national grid by 2031. She added that the eastern town of Buyende had been chosen as the site for the first plant.

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