Nuclear technologies key to African development

Russian State Nuclear Energy Corporation Rosatom participated in the Kenya Bureau of Standards 3rd Radiation Protection Safety and Security Training programme, which was hosted in Mombasa Kenya. Representatives from the company highlighted the global shift towards nuclear, not only in the energy sector but also to address a myriad of other issues, such as dread diseases, increased agricultural production, food preservation and industrial innovation.

Delivering the key-note speech at the official opening ceremony, Dmitry Shornikov, CEO of Rosatom Central and Southern Africa noted that many African nations are moving towards nuclear to balance their energy mixes and address their energy supply challenges, as well as to support their ambitious industrialization goals. “Nuclear energy is a reliable, affordable and environmentally friendly source of baseload power.”

Industrialization is often considered as the child of necessity in every nation’s economy. It accelerates the process of both economic growth and economic development - the importance of the industrial sector in a country’s economic development can therefore not be over-emphasized.

“Industry demands huge amounts of base load power and it becomes even more vital when one takes into consideration industrial processes for the beneficiation of raw materials. These are hugely energy intensive industries which require reliable power 24 hours a day, 365 days a year,” continued Shornikov.

He went on to note that the peaceful applications for nuclear go far beyond the energy sector and that there are vital nuclear technology solutions for healthcare, agriculture, mining and science.

Recent studies conducted by the World Health Organization have revealed that cancer is the second leading cause of death globally, and was responsible for approximately 8.8 million deaths in 2015. Globally, roughly 1 in 6 deaths are cancer related and approximately 70 per cent of deaths from cancer occur in low- and middle-income countries.

“It is important to note that the global cancer burden could drastically be reduced through early detection and the effective treatment of patients who develop cancer. Many cancers are completely curable if diagnosed early and treated adequately,” added Shornikov.

One of the projects Rosatom emphasizes in Africa is a Center for Nuclear Science and Technology (CNST). The ?enter offers a wide range of applications of radiation and nuclear technologies in medicine, industry and agriculture.

“The CNST brings various economic advantages such as new technological industry platforms, national industry development, improved regional investment climates, agricultural export growth, new jobs as well as increased life expectancy and improved quality of life for the population. As a global vendor and an operator of nuclear facilities across the globe we strive to exceed global best practices to ensure safety truly is the top priority,” highlighted Shornikov.

Shornikov also expressed the company’s continued and unwavering willingness to assist Kenya with its nuclear ambitions both in energy and non-energy applications and drew special attention to an MOU signed between Rosatom and the Kenya in 2016, which laid the foundation for the two nations to cooperate in the sphere of nuclear applications for peaceful purposes.

“The MoU created a basis for us to cooperate in a wide area of nuclear applications, including but not limited to; assistance in development of Kenyan nuclear energy infrastructure, fundamental and applied research, design, construction and operation of nuclear facilities, production and use of radioisotopes for nuclear medicine, industry and agriculture, handling of radioactive waste as well as training and preparation of specialists in the field of nuclear,” concluded Shornikov.

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