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Uganda looks to potential uranium production

16 May 2024

The Government of Uganda is hosting an International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Integrated Uranium Production Review mission as it reviews its potential to produce uranium to support its plans for 24,000 MWe of nuclear capacity.

Phiona Nyamutoro addresses the IUPCR mission (Image: Government of Uganda/X)

IAEA Integrated Uranium Production Cycle Review (IUPCR) missions are designed to assist IAEA member countries in the development of infrastructure for national uranium production programmes, through all phases of the uranium production cycle. Carried out at the request of the country in question, the missions provide independent reviews based on IAEA safety standards, technical guidance, and international good practices, and also give representatives of the requesting country the opportunity for in-depth discussions with international experts about experiences and best practices in legal, regulatory and operational aspects specific to the uranium production cycle. The reviews enable countries to identify areas that require more focus or additional resources or to confirm their readiness to move forward with their uranium production cycle.

“This morning I welcomed experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) for the Integrated Uranium Production Cycle Review (IUPCR) Mission for Uganda,” Minister of State for Energy and Mineral Development (Minerals) Phiona Nyamutoro said on X.

“Uganda’s plans to develop nuclear power plants with a total output of 24,000 MW will require nuclear fuel. To this effect, Uranium exploration is ongoing in the country with the aim of discovering uranium deposits for sustainable nuclear fuel supply,” she continued that the government “also plans to establish a centre for Nuclear Science and Technology for nuclear education, training, research and this … will require Uranium for Production of radioisotopes for industrial and medical applications”.

Irene Bateebe, permanent secretary at Uganda’s Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development, said the exploration and evaluation of uranium resources, supported by the IAEA, were vital to ensuring a sustainable supply of nuclear fuel for Uganda’s planned nuclear power plants and research reactors.

Uganda’s Vision 2040 roadmap, issued in 2013, incorporates the development of nuclear capacity as part of the country’s future energy mix. In May 2022 it was reported that the government had acquired land on which to site a nuclear power plant, and in August last year, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni announced that Russia and South Korea had been selected to build two nuclear power plants with a combined capacity of 15 GWe. Uganda launched its uranium exploration initiative in the district of Buhweju in November.

The IUPCR mission is taking place from 14-22 May in Munyonyo.

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