ETHIOPIA – Ethiopia through its Ministry of Innovation and Technology has in October this year signed an accord with state owned Rosatom Nuclear Energy Corporation to develop nuclear energy for peaceful industry.

The intergovernmental agreement was signed in Sochi, Russia at the sidelines of the Russia-Africa Economic Forum, and will see the two parties cooperate in the development of nuclear infrastructure on selected joint projects in accordance with international recommendations.

The select projects include a 3,000 megawatts nuclear power generating plants, nuclear medicine applications, agriculture, nuclear training and education through the use and application of radioisotopes.

The agreement indicated that Ethiopia will apply nuclear and radiation safety regulations and oversee the physical security of nuclear materials, sources of radiation, storage facilities for nuclear materials and radioactive substances and radioactive wastes. 

Following the signing of the agreement, Ethiopia is reestablishing an existing Radiation and Nuclear Regulatory Authority.

The Authority will be tasked to oversee and regulate the utilization, storage, waste treatment, education and training with nuclear and radioactive materials and substances.

 Although, it has not yet been disclosed on how much finance is needed, or who will finance the project, Ethiopia is expected to have developed its own nuclear facilities within a 10 year period.

Russia has been expanding its peaceful nuclear initiative globally and has already signed various intergovernmental agreements with various countries across the globe.

 last year, Russia signed an inter-governmental deal with Rwanda for a peaceful use of nuclear energy in Moscow and in October the two countries inked an accord that will help Rwanda establish a center for nuclear science and technologies.

The Russian Rosatom State Nuclear Energy Corporation was founded in 2007 and currently, it is the biggest nuclear company in the world.

 It has 36 nuclear blocks on order from countries, like Bangladesh, Belarus, China, Egypt, Finland, Hungary, India and Turkey, and is in talks with South Africa to install more nuclear reactors in that country.

Besides equipping Africa with a peaceful nuclear technology, Russia announced during the Sochi Forum debt cancellations amounting to USD 20 billion as a gesture of cooperation, towards Africa with Ethiopia’s share of the USD 20 billion being around USD 160 million.