29 January 2018

Tanzania: Law Set for Amendment Ahead of Uranium Mining

Arusha — Uranium mining, set to commence soon in the country, will be taken on board in the proposed amendment of the Atomic Energy Act, it was revealed here yesterday.

The amendments are through with the Tanzanian Atomic Energy Commission (Taec) and experts at the technical level. They have been forwarded to the ministry and other stakeholders for additional inputs.

"At the technical level we are through. We expect it to reach the Cabinet by the end of this year," said Mr Justin Ngaile, a senior research scientist with the commission.

The review, which started in 2016, will set in new laws and regulations for the entire nuclear energy legislation framework as the country braces for uranium mining for power generation.

Huge reserves of untapped uranium, estimated at 36 million pounds,were discovered in the Mkuju River Valley in Ruvuma Region about a decade ago.

Other potentially viable deposits for extraction have also been found in parts of Dodoma and Singida regions, specifically the Bahi Valley. No mining has commenced in both sites to date.

Mr Ngaile told The Citizen yesterday that the amendment of the Atomic Energy Act could see the separation of the regulatory functions and promotional functions of Taec.

When mined uranium, a radio active mineral, will be used for power generation although other uses in medical, agriculture and industrial production are increasing.

The Atomic Energy Act No. 7, which established the Arusha-based commission was enacted in April 2003 to regulate and control the peaceful applications of nuclear and radiation sources.

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