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Ghana begins 10-year plan to drive nuclear power into energy mix

The Government of Ghana has raised a nine-member board, known as ‘Nuclear Power Ghana’ to oversee the full implementation of the country’s drive to nuclear energy.
Nigeria had attempted related move with Rosatom Russia but due to lack of political will, the programme may have been jettisoned by the current administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.
In a statement issued by Ghana News Agency (GNA) and made available to Business Hilights Ghana Bureau chief in Accra, Government said the introduction of nuclear power into the country’s energy mix will take between 10 to 15 years for the realisation to drive affordable energy for industrial development.
Already, the NPG will among other things, carry out reconnaissance trip for a preliminary assessment and collection of site data for the Nuclear Power Programme, while mass sensitization activities are being carried out to promote public acceptability of the technology and to explain the benefit Ghana stands to gain from a Nuclear Power Plant.
If the scheme passes all local, continental and international tests, Ghana will be the first African nation to join the nuclear energy league currently dominated by Iran, Iraq, Russia and South Korea.
Already, the Volta River Authority, Bui Power Dam and Atomic Energy have been tasked to support the setting up of the structures for a nuclear power plant taking into consideration the timelines outlined by government.
In his remarks, the Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, Professor Kwabena Frimpong Boateng, who announced this when he took his turn at the Meet-the-Press Series in Accra on Tuesday, he said China, France, Russia and United States have already expressed interest in Ghana’s Nuclear Energy Programme and expressed their readiness to collaborate with the nation towards the realisation of the plan.
According to him, “The Atomic Energy is currently preparing a report on the Nuclear Power Programme and upon presentation to government a decision would be taken regarding the financing of the programme”.
“The nation has competent and well-trained scientists and functional institutions, including the Nuclear Power Institute, Ghana Atomic Energy, Nuclear Regulatory Authority and School of Allied and Nuclear Sciences that are capable to champion the country’s Nuclear Energy Programme.
“Ghana had been operating a research reactor for 25 years, which is a miniature of any nuclear power plant, noting that it had trained nuclear scientists from other African countries as well as students from Pakistan and Iran.
While revealing that some sites have been identified for the establishment of a nuclear power plant, Prof. Frimpong Boateng said Ghana had completed the construction of a replica of research reactor to serve as a training facility for any country embarking on reactor core conversion with a training programme completed for some Nigerians.
On the safety issues relating to nuclear plants, the Minister averred that “To ensure adequate control of radiation exposure to humans and environment during nuclear and radiation activities, the National Regulatory Authority has drafted some regulations including Emergency Preparedness and Response Regulation for Operators, Regulations on the Safe Transport and Radioactive Materials, Design of Nuclear Installations Regulations, Licensing of Nuclear Installations Regulations, Transport Security Regulations and Physical Protection of Nuclear.