Ghana close to nuclear energy generation

Mr. Owuraku Aidoo(fourth from left) being briefed by Prof. Benjamin Nyarko(third from left) at the reactor hall of GAEC

Mr. Owuraku Aidoo(fourth from left) being briefed by Prof. Benjamin Nyarko(third from left) at the reactor hall of GAEC

Ghana is projected to complete the first of three phases in its pursuit of nuclear energy generation, next year.

The preparatory stage, which is the longest, involves documentation including development of legal frameworks, ratification of international conventions and setting up of regulatory bodies.

It has taken the country several decades to make this substantive progress in building nuclear power plants to augment power supply, since the journey was started in the 1960s.

Prof Benjamin Nyarko, the Director General of the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC) disclosed this yesterday during a tour of the commission by a Deputy Minister of Energy, Mr. William Owuraku Aidoo.

The tour was to afford the minister, accompanied by staff of the energy, an opportunity to acquaint themselves with the operations of the commission which is leading the nuclear energy drive.

According to Prof Nyarko, in fulfilment of requirements, two regulatory bodies; Nuclear Regulatory Authority and Nuclear Power Ghana had been set up while efforts were ongoing to determine a site for the power plants.

The government, on its part, he said were in talks with development partners to get nuclear power vendor and had already signed an agreement with China towards the construction of the nuclear plants.

The next phase of the project, according to Prof Nyarko was getting a vendor and site for the construction which would take about six years and about Ghc6billion to complete.

Asked if the country had the capacity to complete the project, he said it had the requisite human resource and was mobilising the financial capacity, which it lacked, to realise the nuclear dream.

Mr Aidoo said the government was committed to the project and was playing it role by doing all it could to provide funding for it in addition to other support.

He fell short of giving deadlines to the completion of the rest of the phases due to what he said was the complicated nature of the project but gave the assurance that other decisions concerning it would be made and progress was made.

The Deputy Minister said the ministry, commission and other stakeholders had been meticulous in complying with the requirements because of the nature of nuclear energy which required high safety measures.

He allayed public fear that the project was dangerous and lauded the commission for not relenting in the project.

BY JONATHAN DONKOR

 

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