The government will soon announce a site and vendor for the development of a nuclear power plant, the Deputy Minister of Energy, Mr William Owuraku Aidoo has hinted.
According to him, the Nuclear Power Ghana (NPG) has submitted a report on four sites along the coast and about five vendors after feasibility assessment to cabinet for review and approval.
Mr Aidoo was speaking at the opening of a three-day workshop organised by the NPG for selected journalists on the theme “Nuclear Safety, a Public Fear and Concern” in Accra yesterday.
“Recently steps are being taken to finalise the selection of a preferred site to Ghana’s first nuclear power plant. Recently, Ghana issued a Request of Information(RFI) as part of the required processes to identify a vendor country and nuclear technology.”
“Currently, the RFI report is under review and government will soon announce a decision on vendor and technology”, Mr Aidoo said.
He further explained that the inclusion of nuclear power into the national energy desk was not only in line with the government’s short to medium-term target of speeding up industrialisation but to deal strategically with current world challenges of climate change.
Additionally, Mr Aidoo said the government had rolled out a number of programmes such as the establishment of the Ghana Nuclear Power Organisation programme in 2012 which included the signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and agreements on the peaceful use of atomic energy.
The Deputy Energy Minister said the government was committed to ensuring that the country’s vision of attaining a nuclear energy transformation became a reality, and urged participants at the workshop to explore positive ways of supporting the project.
He entreated journalists to contact experts in the energy field when reporting to avoid any form of misinformation, adding that the government would ensure that due diligence was maintained in terms of technology safety in the adoption of nuclear energy.
The Executive Director, NPG, Dr Stephen Yamoahsaid they were still on the second phase of the project which looked at the preparatory work for the construction of a nuclear power plant after a policy decision had been taken.
He stated that the expected deliverables at the end of the second phase would include “site approval report for site permit and site evaluation report for construction permit.”
Others are “vendor or technology selected, contract signed or under discussion, self-evaluation report for phase two Integrated Nuclear Infrastructure Review (INIR) mission and a project feasibility report.
Dr Yamoah, therefore, said nuclear power option in Ghana was no longer a question of “can we do it,” rather was about “when are we having nuclear connected to the grid.”
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Bui Power Authority(BPA), Samuel Kofi Dzamesi in a speech read on his behalf said the country needed sustainable power to support industrialisation.
Kofi Yeboah, the General Secretary of GJA, in a speech read on behalf of the Association urged journalists to interact with experts on issues they were not so familiar with.
BY ABIGAIL ARTHUR & BENJAMIN ARCTON-TETTEY