Uranium Association launched in Swakopmund

20 Nov 2013 17:10pm
SWAKOPMUND, 20 NOV (NAMPA) – Mines and Energy Deputy Minister, Willem Isaacks on Wednesday officially launched a first of its kind advocacy body, which will exclusively advance the interests of the uranium industry in Namibia.
The Namibian Uranium Association (NUA) aims to enable senior executives in Namibia’s uranium industry to shape the context in which their industry operates.
It also aims to be the strategic management hub so as to coordinate uranium activities, as well as to share ideas and facilities.
The association is made up of members from all the Namibian uranium mining operations, exploration companies and associated contractors, and is governed by a board of directors.
Isaacks indicated in his speech that a lot has changed in the uranium industry since independence, and a number of players are still holding on to the industry despite the downturn in the market.
He pointed out that the launch of the NUA symbolises a clear step that the uranium industry is continuing to bring its part to the wheel of progress, with a new reshaped self-regulatory body.
The deputy minister added that it is also encouraging to observe that the NUA has taken under its wings the Namibian Uranium Institute, which focuses on standards and training.
“This new association launched, argues for policy change that will let uranium compete on its merits as an energy source appropriate for the needs of the 21st century through research, factual information and advocacy,” the Deputy Minister explained.
Isaacks said significant changes have also occurred in the uranium regulatory environment.
He mentioned that such legislation was however minimalistic, and as potential growth was foreseen in the industry, so too was the need for a more comprehensive control environment.
“First off the blocks at that time were the self-governing initiatives by the uranium mines, the Uranium Stewardship Committee and the establishment of the Namibia Uranium Institute. These achievements were then closely followed by a number of significant steps by the government, such as the signing of the Additional Protocol and full implementation of the Atomic Energy and Radiation Act, amongst others,” he noted.
The Deputy Minister further stated that the uranium industry has now created a watchdog, not to protect its territory against unwanted strangers, “but a watchdog to guard over themselves, to keep themselves on their toes and ensure that they do the right thing.”