THE Nuclear Energy Programme Implementing Organisation (NEPIO) says the introduction of nuclear energy in the country will bring about the much needed development the country needs.
NEPIO National Coordinator, Dr. RUEBEN KATEBE said the development would trickle down to every Zambian.
Dr. KATEBE said this during the Kwacha Good Morning Programme on the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) yesterday.
He said once the project was implemented, treatment of cancer patients at the University Teaching Hospital (UTH) which in most cases is hampered by shortage of isotopes, would be a thing of the past.
Dr. KATEBE said patients would no longer have to wait in queues for isotopes to be imported from South Africa, which is the only country in the southern hemisphere that produces them.
He added that the mining sector would also be a major beneficiary of the Programme as they would be able to get cheaper electricity.
As a country, Dr. KATEBE said the project would employ neutron activation techniques which would enable the scanning of the exact value of minerals to be exported for correct taxation.
The NEPIO National coordinator also stated with the coming of this technology in the country, agricultural products would go through a process of irradiation which lengthens the shelf life of the product as well as eliminate all forms of bacteria and pests.
“As you may be aware, for us to reach the European market, we have to prove to the international community that our products do not contain insects and this will require nuclear technology, “said Dr. Katebe.
Dr. Katebe also noted that nuclear is the safest and most reliable form of energy which does not produce Carbon dioxide.
He further stated that the nuclear programme in Zambia was at its initial stage of planning and required certain milestones to be achieved before full implementation.
Dr. KATEBE pointed out that for a country to go into the nuclear world, there were certain milestones required to be met in line with the provisions of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
This is an agency of the UN which is the watchdog of the programme and would only grant a licence to a country upon fulfilling the licensing requirements.
Dr. KATEBE also noted that it would take approximately ten years before the power plant is finally set up to allow for certain requirements such as human resource development to be fulfilled.
He said to start with there is need to build the human resource capacity which was a very big component in the nuclear programme adding that training of such personnel has commenced.
About 1000 highly qualified personnel would be required and this would be achieved through the partnership with experts already in the industry.
Currently, the main partner is ROSATOM, the Russian company which has been in the industry for a long time and are ready to impart more knowledge in the Zambian personnel.
Dr. Katebe said the programme is intended to help the country acquire nuclear technology for development of the country and ultimately produce electricity from nuclear reaction.