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Wednesday, 12 December 2007

Uranium powered Zambia?

Reuters report that the long promised "uranium law" would be would be ready this month, to "allow foreign firms to start mining uranium on a large scale". Not sure how this is possible when there has been no prior public consultation. Will this be another piece of legislation that is sprung on MPs and the public in the late hour? There are few days left in December. The same Reuters report contain this curious statement:

Mwansa said Zambia in future would export energy derived from uranium to neighbouring countries, but he gave no further details.

6 comments:

  1. DRC has a nuclear reactor. There is an interesting history behind that. Apparently a monk helped set it up.

    Namibia is also thinking about building reactors.

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  2. Nuclear energy may be a very important power source for the future, and one potentially less polluting than cole or oil.

    However, you can't get better than solar energy.

    Everyone knows about solar energy cells (PV or photovoltaic), which converts sunlight into electricity.

    However, check out the concept of solar thermal energy, which converts the sun's heat into other energy.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_thermal_energy

    ReplyDelete
  3. error27, I am not aware the DRC has such a facility. I know that when the Bush administration was making the case for the Iraqi war, there was a suggestion that Niger had such a facility provided by the French…

    Any additional sources pointing to DRC?


    MrK, it strikes me that environment debate does not currently recognise the need for nations to develop. Simply put I don’t think we should be wasting time to worry about solar power when other nations did not adopt that path to get there. We need energy and we need it quickly. Solar power will just slow us down.

    ReplyDelete
  4. The problem with fossile fuels is that they have to be imported, and that they have to be paid for in US dollars.

    On the other hand, solar energy is free, and can be generated in place. It is perfect for buildings. Buses can easily run on biofuels.

    At least, it will reduce the demand for oil.

    I think it is the way of the future.

    ReplyDelete
  5. but with so many rivers Zambia has nothing to worry about...what we need is a coherent long term strategy to harness these sources...ZESCO needs to get its act together....

    ReplyDelete
  6. Cho,

    MrK, it strikes me that environment debate does not currently recognise the need for nations to develop.

    Actually it is the other way around. Biofuels can have a stimulating effect on the economy. Think of it this way. All of Zambia's oil needs to be imported and transported from either Angola or the Middle East. All that is cost, and money that has to leave the country and the economy.

    Now biofuels can all be produced locally, and would require a minimum of distance to transport.

    In other words, all the money the country is presently spending on importing fuel, could stay in the country and stimulate the economy.

    It would be a massive boost to economic activity.

    Even if biofuels were only used in government buildings and bus services, the effect would be significant in that much less fuel would be imported.

    but with so many rivers Zambia has nothing to worry about...what we need is a coherent long term strategy to harness these sources...ZESCO needs to get its act together....

    I am sure hydropower has it's role to play. I would also like to see these rivers used to feed huge water catchment areas, for the benefit of agriculture, and the environment.

    Maybe I.P.A. Manning could have something to say about that. :)

    Right now, 97% of agriculture is dependent on rainfall. If we could use more space for water catchment areas and use some of the rivers to fill them up as well, agriculture could be transformed.

    And another thing. It used to be a very normal thing to grow hemp. Hemp is a wonderful plant that can be used to stabilize poor soil, add organic matter to poor soil, and grow more pulp per hectare than forests. Maybe the country can even earn some carbon points as well.

    ReplyDelete

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