Economics - Southern Africa - Namibia - Development - Energy - Raw Materials
Namibia: Uranium enrichment in the offing
Namibia, which has pockets of uranium deposits, is crafting a nuclear policy to be completed mid-2011 with plans of setting up a nuclear electricity plant. Uranium enrichment within its borders is also on the cards.

Namibia, which has pockets of uranium deposits, is crafting a nuclear policy to be completed mid-2011 with plans of setting up a nuclear electricity plant. Uranium enrichment within its borders is also on the cards.

According to various publications from the southern African nation, a group of nuclear energy experts from Finland’s Nuclear and Radiation Authority, in conjunction with Ministry of Mines and Energy (MME) are putting together a nuclear policy which is to be completed mid-2011, together with relevant laws.

Namibia plans to generate electricity from its own nuclear reactor by 2018. And speaking at a nuclear policy conference recently, mining minister Isak Katali is quoted saying his government is serious considering venturing into nuclear energy but for peaceful purposes only.

“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,” Katali said.

The minister believes that the entire nuclear fuel cycle would be addressed under the policy, ranging from uranium exploration, mining to nuclear energy generation.

Namibia, ranked world’s fourth-largest producer of uranium is churning out 5 000 tons of the mineral annually and accounts approximately for 10 percent of the world’s uranium output.

At present the country has issued more than 40 exclusive licenses for uranium exploration and 12 licenses for uranium mining, reports say.

The southern African country is also said to be working closely with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) “to achieve a strong policy framework for a safe and efficient nuclear policy for peaceful purposes only.”

Namibia is signatory to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement in Connection with the NTP and Protocol Additional to the Safeguards Agreement.

The country established the Namibian Atomic Energy Board in February 2009.


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