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Russia agrees to provide atomic energy supplies to Ethiopia  

Russia agrees to provide atomic energy supplies to Ethiopia  

Taking the peaceful nuclear initiatives to a more practical stage, the Russian Federation has inked an intergovernmental nuclear deal with Ethiopia, where the latter will develop its own nuclear facilities in ten years’ time.

During the sidelines of the Russia-Africa Economic Forum at Sochi, the state owned Rosatom Nuclear Energy Corporation has signed an accord with the Ministry of Innovation and Technology of Ethiopia, to provide technical and technological supplies for an atomic energy.

The intergovernmental nuclear cooperation agreement the two sides have signed includes development of nuclear infrastructure on selected joint projects in accordance with international recommendations. 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 agreement, both countries will set up a joint coordination committee to help implement selected nuclear power projects which include a 3,000 megawatts nuclear power generating plants, nuclear medicine applications, agriculture, nuclear training and education through the use and application of radioisotopes.

From the Russian side, Alexey Likhachev, ROSATOM’s Director General has signed the nuclear deal with Gethaun Mekuria (PhD), Minister of Innovation and Technology. The Sochi agreement is to strengthen and take to the next level, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that both sides had signed back in 2017.

Accordingly, Ethiopia is reestablishing an existing Radiation and Nuclear Regulatory Authority, tasked to oversee and regulate the utilization, storage, waste treatment, education and training with nuclear and radioactive materials and substances.  However, it has not yet been disclosed on how much finance is needed, or who will finance the project.

It can be recalled that last year, Rwanda had signed an inter-governmental deal with Russia for a peaceful use of nuclear energy in Moscow. And on Thursday, Rwanda and Russia have inked an accord that will help Rwanda establish a center for nuclear science and technologies. Both Rwanda and Ethiopia are members of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and both have agreed to use nuclear and radioactive substances and material for peaceful industries.

The Russian Rosatom State Nuclear Energy Corporation was founded in 2007 and currently, it is the biggest nuclear company in the world that has 36 nuclear blocks on order from countries, like Bangladesh, Belarus, China, Egypt, Finland, Hungary, India and Turkey. Reports indicated that Rosatom is in talks with South Africa to install more nuclear reactors in that country.

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