Ortega Creates a Nicaraguan Atomic Energy Commission
The regime appoints retired general Moises Omar Halleslevens to head the new agency and allocates funds for its operation.
HAVANA TIMES – The regime of Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo announced on August 29th the creation of a Nicaraguan Atomic Energy Commission for Peaceful Purposes, by means of a presidential decree published in La Gazette, the official State newspaper.
The Commission will operate in the offices of the Nicaraguan Council of Science and Technology (Conicyt), an entity attached to the Vice-Presidency, under Murillo’s oversight.
The head of Conicyt, a position held by the former chief of the Army, retired General Moises Omar Halleslevens, will be in charge of presiding the Commission. The decree establishes that the Commission will have a direct allocation of funds for its operation from the General Budget.
Nicaragua does not have the infrastructure or capacity to develop nuclear energy, but the Commission will have the objective of “promoting the use and development of atomic energy for peaceful purposes, in agriculture, medicine, industry, science, technology, environmental monitoring and other related aspects.”
One of the striking functions of the Commission is to “promote the design and construction of nuclear facilities for research, particle accelerations, neutron generators and other sources of ionizing radiation for use in agriculture, medicine, industry, science, technology, environmental monitoring, and other aspects related to the peaceful use of nuclear energy.”
The Commission will also study the possibilities of building facilities such as nuclear science and technology centers in Nicaraguan territory.
Another function of the Commission is “to promote the provision of services for the management of nuclear materials, as well as products and equipment containing nuclides.”
Besides Conicyt, the Commission will be composed by a representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Nicaraguan Army, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Energy and Mines, the Ministry of Environmental and Natural Resources, the Nicaraguan Institute of Agricultural Technology, the Institute of Agricultural Protection and Health, and the Ministry of Development, Industry and Trade.
Outer Space also in Ortega’s Plans
The decree very much reminds us of the law creating a National Secretariat for Outer Space Matters, the Moon and other Celestial Bodies, also promoted by Ortega´s government and approved this year in the National Assembly by the deputies of the dictatorship and its political allies.
One of the functions of this Secretariat is “to promote the development of space activities to expand the country’s capabilities in the educational, industrial, scientific and technological fields in this area.”
Another of the functions that stands out is “to promote the development of space systems and the means, technology and infrastructure necessary for the consolidation and autonomy of this sector in Nicaragua.”
This office is made up of representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Health, the Nicaraguan Army, TELCOR, the Nicaraguan Institute of Territorial Studies and the National Institute of Civil Aeronautics.
Scientists and academics questioned this initiative arguing that Nicaragua does not have the resources nor the scientific training to join the missions led by powers such as the United States, Russia, and Saudi Arabia; nor those of neighboring countries, such as Costa Rica.