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2010
Sudan plans to build nuclear plant
Kharthoum expects nuclear reactor and plant to be operational by the year 2020.
Last Modified: 22 Aug 2010 21:57 GMT
Sudanese president al-Bashir was offered nuclear technology by Iran earlier this year [AFP]

Sudan is planning to build a nuclear reactor and its first nuclear power plant by 2020, the state news agency SUNA has said.

Mohamed Ahmed Hassan el-Tayeb, director-general of the Sudanese Atomic Energy Agency, said on Sunday that his government had begun the plan for the development of the nuclear reactor at the beginning of this year.

"The Ministry of Electricity and Dams has already started preparing for the project to produce power from nuclear energy in cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency and is expected to build the first nuclear power plant in the year 2020," Tayeb said.

Tayeb said an IAEA delegation would visit Sudan to discuss the project this week.

Sanctions

Sudan has been an IAEA member since 1958 and can develop a peaceful nuclear energy programme with IAEA assistance.

Sudan's economy has suffered under US sanctions since 1997 and from decades of warfare.

The African country has close economic and political ties with Iran, which is locked in a dispute with the US and some of its allies over its nuclear programme.

In defiance of the sanctions, Sudan has managed to hike oil production to 470,000 barrels per day, boosting growth.

It has also built dams along the Blue and White Niles, which merge in Sudan, to generate power, however, large swathes of the country remain without regular electricity.

Alternative sources

The Khartoum government announced in March that Sudan needed to look for new energy sources, not excluding nuclear power.

According to calculations by the government, Sudan may experience an acute lack of power in about 25 years if other power sources are not developed.

Earlier this year, Iran offered to transfer nuclear technology to Sudan.

"Iran is prepared to transfer the experience, knowledge and technology of its scientists," Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the Iranian leader, told visiting Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir in March.

Source:
Agencies
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