Friday, 28 January 2011 13:25

Namibian nuclear policy due by mid-2011

Namibia will be developing a nuclear energy programme in order to make use of its uranium resources. Isak Katali, Namibia’s Minister of Mines and Energy, said this uranium and nuclear energy policy will be developed to cover the entire nuclear fuel cycle.

“It is the expressed decision of the Namibian government to seriously consider the development of nuclear power in order to complete the national energy mix and provide sufficient energy for our development,” said Katali during Namibia’s first-ever stakeholder meeting.

According to mining commissioner Erasmus Shivolo, the draft legislation and policy document are expected to be finished by mid-2011. Shivolo told delegates that finding a convenient storage site will be part of the policy development process, but that the nuclear waste will have to be stored in Namibia.

Shivolo presented a rough outline of the new nuclear policy that included sections on setting up a nuclear waste management fund, increasing black Namibians’ participation in the uranium sector and limiting the use of the country’s uranium for peaceful purposes.

According to World Nuclear News, Namibia is the world’s fourth largest uranium mining country, but it has no nuclear power of its own and relies on imports from neighbouring South Africa for about half of its electricity.

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