MOSCOW, 23 April 2021 – Russia’s ROSATOM has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on cooperating in the peaceful use of atomic energy.
The MoU was signed Thursday in Moscow by Nikolai Spassky, Deputy Director-General of ROSATOM, and Abraham Uvizeye, Minister of Water, Energy, and Mines, for the Republic of Burundi.
It is the first-ever such document in the field of peaceful use of atomic energy to be signed between two countries.
The Russian State Atomic Energy Corporation Rosatom or ROSATOM describes itself as “a multi-industry holding comprising assets in power engineering, machine engineering, and construction”.
Burundi approached ROSATOM earlier this year, inviting the Russian firm, to help develop a nuclear plant with a capacity to produce 556 MW of power to bolster the country’s mining industry.
Currently, Burundi relies heavily on hydroelectric power, representing 95 percent of the 382.70 million kilowatt-hours of electric energy the country consumes per year.
A little less than 80 percent of the total electric power consumed in Burundi is produced locally.
The deal with ROSATOM is expected to help change that.
Under the agreement, Burundi and Russia will cooperate in the development of nuclear infrastructure in Burundi and raise awareness about nuclear technologies.
The deal will also allow both countries to cooperate on the use of radioisotopes and radiation technologies in industry and medicine.
ROSATOM is cooperating with more than 20 other African countries.
The corporation “boasts the largest foreign project portfolio in the world with 35 power units at different stages of implementation in 12 countries,” according to a posting on its website.
ROSATOM is the largest producer of electricity in Russia, ensuring over 20 percent of the country’s energy needs, according to its website.
The Russian government has signed more than a dozen agreements with countries on the continent in recent years.