It is news to me. I was not aware the Democratic Republic of Congo had a nuclear reactor since 1971. It is idle from 2004 as they have been unable to raise donations to buy spare parts. They built it and expect donations to do the rest.
Considering that nuclear reactors have a life span of about 40 years, which can be extended with much investment up to 60 years, the DRC reactor is now in the class of white elephant or with luck as of 2031.
A ministerial permit is needed to visit the reactor. According to what I read there is no science fiction type entrance to reach it. Only one key inserted in a door is needed for a close up look behind smoked glass. It is that simple.
Security at the DRC nuclear facility was increased with a close circuit camera and armed guards after two bars of low-enriched nuclear fuel were stolen in the 70’s. Only one bar was recovered.
An earthquake like the one which damaged the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant in Japan is not expected.
Their present worry is the soil on which the nuclear facility is build. It is sliding and eroding. The government is aware but is not seem interested in doing anything at the moment.
Maybe they are waiting for its few workers to glow in the dark before taking action.
Actually there are ten nuclear reactors in Africa; Algeria (2), the Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Ghana, Libya, Morocco, Nigeria and South Africa (2).
South Africa is the only country with a nuclear power station on the African continent. During maintenance work, in September 2010, 100 people were contaminated at the Koeberg plant.
Sudan, Nigeria, Kenya, Tanzania, Algeria, Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia are all interested in producing nuclear power.
I don’t know how many nuclear engineers Africa has. Probably not enough but the diploma mills are waiting in the background to fill up the vacuüm when the need arise.
Africa does not have a culture of maintenance and good governance. Consequently power infrastructure, most built in the 50’s and 60’s, are seldom updated, inadequately repaired, and badly managed but produces nice kickbacks.
What will happen when they have nuclear power?
Kenya, country-wide, must have thousands of power outages per month. When power comes back, a few hours or days later, surges blow up many household appliances. That’s the surprise elements informing you that power is back.
I wonder what will be the surprise element when they have nuclear powered electricity. Will it be colorful sparks, a big white mushroom or a powder puff?