Africa Update: Nuclear Research Reactors & Applications
Of the world’s 243 operational research reactors, ten are in Africa. For countries considering introducing nuclear power, a research reactor generally serves as a platform to facilitate the development of necessary infrastructure.
Africa’s research reactors are a vital component of the societal role played by nuclear science and technology: they provide neutrons to probe materials for structural integrity, to manufacture semiconductors through transmutation doping, to create radioisotopes for medical and industrial diagnostics as well as life-saving cancer treatments, to address pollution issues, and to assist farmers in crop selection and land use.
Higher standards of living are directly correlated with increasing energy demand, meaning that Africa’s research reactors are well-positioned to support socio-economic development.
Currently 8 African countries operate 11 research reactors on the continent while a few others are looking to establish and build their own research reactors.