Chasi reignites nuclear energy push

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Tendai Kamhungira

ENERGY minister Fortune Chasi has reignited the country’s push for nuclear energy as an alternative to the current hydro and coal-powered power generation.

Last year, the government reportedly initiated negotiations with the International Atomic Energy Agency to seek approval in exploring nuclear energy generation.

Chasi’s push for nuclear energy in Zimbabwe comes at a time when the country has been struggling to meet its daily demand of between 1 400MW and 1 700MW of electricity.

Writing on Twitter, Chasi said it is now time for Zimbabwe to shift to nuclear energy to reduce carbon emissions.
“As the climate change debate continues and the global community seeks cleaner energy sources, should Zimbabwe shift towards nuclear power to reduce our carbon emissions as expressed under the Paris Agreement?

“We need to be open to exploring different routes to energy security to drive our economy. Zimbabwe’s economic growth, job creation, and improved quality of life depend on affordable, abundant energy; nuclear-powered energy is clean, reliable and affordable. It is a workable solution,” Chasi said.

The Energy minister also expressed willingness to meet any Zimbabwean nuclear expert to discuss the pursuit.
Zimbabwe largely relies on hydro-powered electricity. Zimbabwe and Zambia generate power on the northern and southern banks of the Lake Kariba wall and share equally water from the world’s largest man-made inland lake.

However, over the years, the country has been experiencing power challenges due to dwindling water levels in Lake Kariba and the obsolete machines at the Hwange Coal plant, which also generates electricity for the country.
Chasi said some southern African countries such as Zambia and Namibia had already started the initiative to introduce nuclear energy.

The country’s power company, Zesa Holdings, has been dogged by a number of challenges over the years, including vandalism of infrastructure, corruption and non-payment of electricity bills by thousands of citizens.

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