RUNDU – The Minister of Mines and Energy (MME), Isak Katali, says the inadequate supply of power in Southern Africa leaves the door open for the possibility of a nuclear power station in Namibia.
Katali made the announcement during the Electricity Supply Industry Stakeholders Forum in Rundu last week Thursday.
“I am not saying we will have a nuclear plant, all I am saying is that government through our ministry and the electricity supply industry are looking at all power sources, among them, wind energy, hydro and coal-fired stations, a solar thermal collector and the possibility of a nuclear power station in the future,” he said.
Although there has been a public outcry and opposition to the idea of having a nuclear plant in the country, mainly due to safety concerns, Katali says the Ministry of Mines and Energy has finalized a nuclear cycle policy which is expected to pave the way to see how nuclear power can be harnessed to satisfy the country’s growing energy needs.
Should the Ministry of Mines and Energy go ahead with its plans to build a nuclear power plant, many would want assurances regarding the safety of such an undertaking, especially in the light of last year’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in Japan.
Powers such as Japan, who have experienced effects of nuclear disaster, have since become staunch activists for a nuclear-free world and total nuclear disarmament in all countries.
With the country scrambling for new energy sources, including coal-fired power stations, biomass and wind power, nuclear aspirations are seen as contrary to government’s advocacy for green energy.
Katali says NamPower plans to construct eight more power stations in the country to ensure that the country’s dependence on imports become a thing of the past. He said due to the shortage of power supply in the SADC region, there is a need for increased power generation capacity.