Tanzania launches Africa's first radiochemistry lab

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ARUSHA, Tanzania, April 29 (Xinhua) -- Tanzania on Monday launched Africa's first fully fledged Radio-chemistry Analysis Laboratory at the country's Atomic Energy Commission (TAEC), located in the northern safari capital of Arusha.

The new state-of-the-art radiochemistry laboratory facility at TAEC was built at a cost of 4.3 million U.S. dollars.

"The country is at the forefront in reinforcing strict control in mining, handling and the transportation of Radioactive Materials and the establishment of this laboratory facility is yet another indication of this commitment," said Tanzanian Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa shortly after inaugurating the facility.

He advised the TAEC to build nuclear reactors so that the country can be ready to make use of its abundant uranium deposits by converting them to energy.

"So far the Mkuju River Uranium Development Project itself has nearly 59,000 tons of uranium deposits, among the highest in Africa," said Majaliwa.

The prime minister said Tanzania targets new dimension in large scale uranium mining, with significant deposits being identified in various parts of the country, including Mbulu and Simanjiro Districts of Manyara, Rural parts of Songea in Ruvuma Region, Minjingu, Arusha as well as Namtumbo, Madama and Lindi, along the Southern Coast peninsular.

In line with that, more than 25 companies are conducting exploration of the uranium in different areas of Tanzania and these explorations are based on the already radiometric surveys conducted in over 40 years ago that pointed to uranium enrichment in various places in the country, that is why the state is establishing complementing facilities.

The newly inaugurated Radio-chemistry Analysis Laboratory is already equipped with various modern and technological paraphernalia valued at more than 3.2 million U.S. dollars donated to Tanzania by the European Union (EU).

With such a facility in place, Tanzania through TAEC is now in a position to conduct radioactive tests from all neighboring countries, such as Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia and Malawi, where such services are not available. Enditem

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