Congo Restarts its Nuclear Program

Congo Restarts its Nuclear Program

The Council of Ministers of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) approved the restart of the Triga II reactor in Kinshasa. The Congolese authorities will present the country’s position during the meeting on nuclear security improvements in Vienna at the end of this month.

The site established at the University of Kinshasa (Unikin) regularly receives inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Between July 29 and August 2, 2019, a team of experts carried out a visual inspection mission of the nuclear fuel and the internal structures of the reactor to assess its condition. Its primary vocation is to conduct genetic, industrial, medical, and biological research, but the modernization of the plant still waits for substantial funding.

The DRC is one of the pioneering African countries in nuclear research for non-military purposes. The atomic research is closely related to Lord Luc Gillon. Lord Gillon went to the Belgian Congo, and, in 1954, he was appointed rector of the Lovanium University of Léopoldville. He was rector from 1954 to 1967, then administrator until 1971.

In 1959, He initiated the construction of the first nuclear reactor in Africa on the Lovanium campus, and the creation of the Kinshasa Nuclear Studies Center. The Triga type Mark I entered service in June 1959. His successor, Félix Malu wa Kalenga, accompanied by an experienced team, modernized the Triga Mark I reactor to Triga Mark II in 1965.

Congo became an active member of the IAEA in 1961, after South Africa, Morocco, Ethiopia, Tunisia, and Sudan.

NBN Tip: Mgr. Luc Gillon was Governor for Belgium at the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna, vice-president, then the administrator of the Mol Nuclear Center. In 1979 he published Nuclear in Question and 1986 Nuclear in Question after Chernobyl.

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Arnaud Lefevre

Arnaud Lefevre is the Chief Executive Officer of Dynatom International. Arnaud is in charge of the international development of the business portfolio.