Russia, Korea to build 15,000MW nuclear power stations, says Museveni

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President Museveni has said the Russians and Koreans will build two nuclear power stations that will generate 15,600 megawatts of power.

He said one unit will generate 7,000MW while another would produce 8,400MW, but the timeline and the funding of the projects aren’t yet known.

“We have agreed with Russian and Koreans to build two uranium power stations for electricity,” President Museveni said at a coffee summit yesterday.

This is not the first time government officials have talked about the construction of a nuclear station in Uganda.

In 2016, Russian-owned Rosatom State Atomic Energy Corporation officials visited Uganda and signed a deal with Uganda authorities on the development of the nuclear station but the project didn’t take off.

Currently, Uganda is struggling to find money to fund the development of hydro dams that are cheaper than the nuclear power station.

Uganda’s current power generation capacity is 1402MW and only has power for only 800MW leaving the rest not consumed. The government plans to export power abroad.

President Museveni said Uganda has uranium deposits, which are used for the production of nuclear power, and several investors have approached him to mine them for export which he rejected.

“A Western company proposed to mine uranium. I asked them, ‘Mine it and take it where?’ They said to export it. Did I ask to export it for what purpose? They told me, ‘We want to take uranium’,” President Museveni said.

He said he refused because Uganda still has power challenges and that if they wanted uranium, they should start by processing it here for power generation.
He said the company executives didn’t return.

He said he banned the export of raw materials because the country would lose money and jobs if the raw materials are processed abroad.

Citing an example, he said an Indian investor in iron ore approached him to mine and export iron ore to India, but in his investigations, he found out that Uganda has only going to get US$47 (about Shs168,000) from a tonne of iron ore and if it was processed the investors would make US$700 (about Shs2.5m) from the quantity of raw material.

“I told them that to process the iron from here,” he said.

Recently, the president also banned the export of timbers on the same principles.
He said only wooden furniture that has been made in Uganda would be exported.

He also directed government agencies not to buy imported furniture when there are local manufacturers who make the same products.

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