Energy experts opening the eight annual Atom conferences in Moscow, Russia have warned that developing countries looking to use nuclear energy should consider radioactive waste before signing any agreement.
Russia has over the past few years seen an increase in corporations and partnerships with developing countries on nuclear energy programmes- with some using their technology to build nuclear plants.
A few African countries have recently shown keen interest in developing and building nuclear reactors.
This week Russia will sign memorandum of understanding (MOU) with three African countries on nuclear development.
This includes Kenya, Nigeria and Zambia. Russia is steadily seeing an interest in nuclear partnership from various African countries and countries in South East Asia.
Mikhail Chudakov is Deputy Director General of IAE-a company that helps to create the necessary infrastructure for nuclear waste.
Chudakov says although Russia is seeing an increased interest in nuclear partnerships, the partnerships should be done with caution
“More important is that developing nations are planning to include energy in their energy mix but you should remember that it should be developed on the safety culture.”
Zambia is in early discussions with Russia to include nuclear as part of its energy mix.
Kenya is also another African country considering the use of nuclear energy. It plans to build its first nuclear reactor by 2024.
The country already has an established Nuclear Energy Body. Joseph Muthari is a Kenyan member of parliament.
“Yes, we want to establish a working relationship with the team here in Moscow because in Kenya we have a target of at least 2017 – we should have started producing nuclear energy.”
“Kenya is a growing nation and we want to be a country that is able to satisfy the energy needs. And it is important that we diversify our energy source. We are already involved in the training of our personnel so we have students here in Moscow and also students being trained in Korea. African countries are also coming up the demand for electricity is growing the demand is growing.”
Ghana signed an MOU with the state atomic energy corporation of Russia (ROSATOM) in 2015.
Ghana Atomic Energy Commission Benjamin Nyarko says: “Africa has a problem with energy and the best way for Africa to be able to resolve that issue is to go for nuclear power.”
“Waste management in the nuclear power programme has been the main issue that we have had to address so when we are dealing with waste structures we should be able to deal with the waste and when you’re signing an agreement you should open your eyes well. Financing is also a big problem for Africa.”
Over 45 countries are actively considering embarking upon nuclear power programmes.
This ranges from sophisticated economies to developing nations. The front runners include the UAE, Turkey, Vietnam, and Poland.
In 2016, Atom expo attracted 4.5 000 people from 55 countries across the world.