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Rwanda is considering setting up a Centre for Nuclear Science and Technology (CNST) within the next five years

Energy Division Manager at the ministry, Robert Nyamvumba, said that talks are started with Russia's State Atomic Energy Corporation (ROSATOM), to set up the centre as soon as possible.

Previous year, Rwanda signed a cooperation agreement with Russia which speaks about the use of atomic energy for peaceful purposes.

"Rwanda envisions having a Centre for Nuclear Science and Technology in the nearest future," Robert Nyamvumba said in an exclusive interview on the sidelines of an international forum on nuclear energy in Russia.

"A timeframe is being discussed, we are looking at 2023-2024. We are moving determined way to see the centre established in Bugesera industrial park," he said.

Nyamvumba said that talks are now focused on how both soft and physical infrastructure can be set up to cover way for nuclear energy development so it can be used in different areas such as agriculture, medicine, education, and electricity generation.

He said that the country has also accquired technical support from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and local experts are presently assessing how Rwanda can use nuclear technology to expand and boost cassava and rice production.

The official said that collaboration with ROSATOM will see Rwanda and Russia begin study programmes that will help Rwandans obtain advanced knowledge in nuclear sciences, with the University of Rwanda training students from the undergrad level, and master's level, to PhDs.

Dmitry Shornikov, the Chief Executive Officer for ROSATOM Central and Southern Africa, told The New Times that by introducing radiation centres in Africa using nuclear technology, the shelf life of agricultural products can be improved.

He described nuclear energy as one of the authentic and affordable sources of energy, advising that many African countries should adopt it to respond to their energy demands.

Regarding the nuclear programme with Rwanda, Shornikov said an inter-governmental agreement signed between Russia and Rwanda has helped to start discussions for cooperation in the area.

"The biggest challenge is creating a positive public opinion," he said, emphasizing the need for Rwanda to educate people about the benefits from the development of nuclear technologies in the country.

"Healthy negotiations are ongoing and Rwanda is making good progress," he said, explaining that a nuclear infrastructure is needed in Rwanda from legal framework as well as physical infrastructure.

Source : newzmart
Posted On: 5/2/2019 12:00:00 AM

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