21 May 2019

Rwanda: Russian State-Owned Nuclear Body to Help Build Rwanda's Atomic Energy Centre

The Russian State-owned nuclear group ROSATOM recently signed with Rwanda a roadmap for establishing Russian-Rwanda cooperation in the peaceful uses of atomic energy.

The plan defines specific measures until the end of this year, with the Russian group accepting to start building a Nuclear Science and Technology Centre based on a Russian-design research reactor in Rwanda.

Under the roadmap, Rwandan staff will also be trained in Russia as part of ROSATOM's task in the project.

Rwanda's Ministry of Infrastructure has announced that the roadmap was signed by Deputy Director General of ROSATOM, Nikolay Spasskiy, and the Rwandan ambassador to the Russian Federation, Jeanne d'Arc Mujawamariya.

Robert Nyamvumba, the Energy Division Manager at the ministry of infrastructure, told The New Times on Monday that implementation of the roadmap will help Rwanda achieve its target of getting a nuclear research centre in the next five years.

"The roadmap is signed for the Government of Rwanda and ROSATOM to jointly work towards achieving the milestone to establish the Centre for Nuclear Science and Technology by 2024. That's the target," he said in an interview.

Signing the roadmap has followed an Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) on peaceful uses of nuclear energy, which was signed in Moscow between Rwanda and Russia on 05 December 2018.

Nuclear technology is used for different peaceful purposes, including in medicine to treat patients through radiation and other means, in agriculture to develop crop seeds and process produce for long term uses, in manufacturing to control machines, and in electricity generation.

Two weeks ago, the Director of Radiation Safety Regulation at Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Authority (RURA), Jean de Dieu Tuyisenge, told this newspaper that Rwanda needs to start paying attention to the highly useful application of nuclear technology.

He said that what is important at the moment in Rwanda is to raise awareness about the use of nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.

"It's time that Rwandans know that nuclear technology can be used for many good purposes and right here at home. Rwandans need to know that there is another open window they can use to achieve their goals in a short time," he said during the interview.

In 2011, Rwanda became a full member of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) with an aim to achieve safe, secure, and peaceful use of atomic energy.

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