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Rwanda Democratic Green Party MPs Voted Against the Construction of the Centre of Nuclear Science and Technology in Rwanda.

Dr.Frank Habineza in Parliament
Dr.Frank Habineza in Parliament

On Monday, 15th June, during a plenary session of the Chamber of Deputies-Rwanda Parliament, two Democratic Green Party of Rwanda, MPs, voted against the law approving the ratification of the agreement between Rwanda and Russia on cooperation in the construction of the Centre of Nuclear Science and Technology on the territory of Rwanda, which was signed in Sochi, on 24th October 2019.

Why did Green Party MPs Vote Against the Nuclear Center law:

Hon.Dr Frank Habineza said that nuclear energy would cause more harm than good. He continued that “Living near a nuclear energy plant is like living near a nuclear bomb which can explode and cause destruction of life and property to the nation and its neighboring countries. Considering the high population density of Rwanda, there is no place where the plant can be built and the safety of Rwandans and neighbors will be at great risk,” he said.

Hon.Jean Claude Ntezimana said that “nuclear waste management would pose a serious challenge for Rwanda. He queried whether the possible benefits and side-effects of the nuclear Centre were weighed to ascertain whether the Nuclear Centre is important or not important for Rwandans”.

This question was posed because it was clear the Parliamentary commission and the Government only focused on the advantages of having the nuclear center in Rwanda and never mentioned any disadvantage so that MPs could make an informed judgement.

Hon. Dr.Frank Habineza, highlighted several dangers of having the nuclear center in Rwanda, which included:

-         High risk to exposure of radiation to the population in case of an accident and high costs involved to deal with the impacts of nuclear damage and leaks, giving examples of Fukushima in Japan and Chernobyl in Ukraine

-         He also mentioned that, nuclear energy is an old technology with proven risks to the environment and the planet which should not be thought of as an innovation to the Republic of Rwanda, since many of developed nations like Germany, Sweden are all de-nuclearizing, because of so many dangers involved.

-         Furthermore, he stated that, nuclear waste and water pollution from the nuclear plant would cause a serious environmental challenge to the country, its neighbors and the world at large.

-         More to that, raw materials needed to operate the nuclear Center, such as Uranium emit harmful levels of radiation, which is a great risk to the population and the environment.

                                           

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Dr.Frank Habineza in Parliament