Published: 20 August 2018
Sudan suffers from a severe shortage in electricity generation. Most of the electricity is generated from hydropower from dams and from furnace. The Minister of Water Resources, Irrigation and Electricity has declared that an agreement has been reached between Sudan and Russia to establish a nuclear plant for the generation of electricity.
After the declaration there was general alarm about this and some environmentalists voiced their deep concerns about this endeavor.
The Sudanese Environment Conservation Society (SECS) which is also a member of Sudan National Discourse forum held an environmental forum to discuss this matter in collaboration with the Dal Group (a private company).
The participants of the forum included representatives of the Faculties of Engineering from several universities, media, CSOs, environmental activists, the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Environment, Natural resources and Physical development among others.
Three papers were presented by the Ministry of Water Resources, Irrigation and Electricity, these were: (1) Safety procedures in nuclear generation; (2) Nuclear plants and safety measures (3) Environmental impact assessment of nuclear plants.
The fourth paper was presented by the Nuclear and Radiation Safety Council, in which the 2017 Act of the Council was presented.
A live discussion ensued by the participants of the forum and raised their concerns about the hazards associated with nuclear plants.
They reiterated the incidents that took place in the USA, Russia and Japan. They argued that these countries as developed countries have had very stringent safety guards, but accidents did occur which posed real threats to the human beings and the environment at large.
According to participants of the forum, if a similar accident occurred in Sudan, the disaster will be much bigger as the country lacks resources and plans to deal with such an eminent hazard.
The participants also discussed the possibilities of increasing the ‘clean’ power generation, e.g. from the hydro power along the Nile and its tributaries, the renewables (solar and wind) and from neighboring countries (e.g. purchasing electricity from Ethiopia that will generate more than 6 gigawatts.
Mr. Abdelhafiz Al Jack, a member of the MAB National Committee/Sudan, gave the presentation on the historical activities between Sudan and Ethiopia regarding the cooperation between both countries towards this initiative. In 1993 the 1st agreement between the two countries was signed.
Participants presented possible challenges on the potential hazards associated with nuclear power plants and lack of information from the government on issues related to nuclear power generation. It was also indicated that the public is not consulted about the issue of nuclear generation and mostly is not aware about the associated hazards.
They urged the government to use available opportunities for the production of electricity from safe and clean sources such hydro, solar, wind, and also to work with its neighbors (especially Ethiopia) to reach agreements for trans-boundary supply of electricity.
They recommended that CSOs should continue their advocacy campaigns for safe energy and that the Society and Dal Group should hold more forums to explore the potentials of using renewable energies (solar and wind) and hydro power for electricity generation.