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Soroti University to Host Pioneering Nuclear Research Center” as New Leadership Sparks Excitement at Atomic Energy Council

The Atomic Energy Council is actively exploring nuclear energy for practical applications, with ongoing initiatives including a pilot nuclear power program and the establishment of a nuclear research center at Soroti University

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By Ivan Kaahwa

The Atomic Energy Council of Uganda recently welcomed two new members, Charity Stella (advocate at High Court) and Opolot Odeke (Accountant) , bidding farewell to outgoing leaders Bezalel Kirya Kabanda and Brown Kigula Mugambe, who completed a commendable 14-year tenure. This transition occurs at a pivotal moment as the council explores practical applications of nuclear energy.

Dr. Akisophel Kisolo, Chairperson of the Council, urged the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development to initiate the process of appointing new board members to fill upcoming vacancies in six months. He emphasized the significant impact and gap left by the departing members, acknowledging the AEC’s role as a prominent training center on the African continent. Furthermore, 10 acres of land in Mpoma were secured for constructing facilities dedicated to training, regulatory work, and analysis.

The Council is actively exploring nuclear energy for practical applications, with ongoing initiatives including a pilot nuclear power program and the establishment of a nuclear research center at Soroti University. Dr. Kisolo expressed gratitude to Parliament for its support in endorsing requests for resources, emphasizing the importance of these developments.

Deogratias Luwalira, CEO and Secretary of the Atomic Energy Council, reflected on the transformative journey under the outgoing members’ guidance. The council witnessed a substantial increase in staff, growing from 2 members in 2011 to over 50 in 2023.

The council conducted 2,300 inspections, issued 1,500 authorizations to compliant facilities, and is progressing on constructing the AEC home in Mpoma. Luwalira outlined plans to strengthen regulatory infrastructure for nuclear safety and enhance technical and human competence in light of emerging nuclear power programs. The AEC’s focus on these new trends aligns with its commitment to excellence.

Minister of State for Mineral Development Peter Lokeris commended the outgoing members for their foundational role in building the AEC. He emphasized the need for a well-trained and motivated staff to ensure self-sustainability in nuclear technologies. Lokeris also revealed an ongoing review of laws aimed at fortifying regulatory infrastructure for radiation and nuclear safety.

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