Namibia works on nuclear energy policy

02 December 2010

Namibia is seeking to develop a nuclear energy program in order to make use of its uranium resources, AfricaNews reported. "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," mines and energy minister Isak Katali said during the country's first-ever stakeholder meeting. "The uranium and nuclear energy policy to be developed will cover the entire nuclear fuel cycle," he said. The policy document and draft legislation are expected to be finished by mid-2011, according to mining commissioner Erasmus Shivolo. "Nuclear waste will have to be stored in Namibia," Shivolo told the meeting. Finding a "convenient storage site" would be part of the policy development process, he said. 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 to peaceful purposes. Namibia - the world's fourth largest uranium mining country - has no nuclear power of its own and relies on imports from neighbouring South Africa for about half its electricity.