A comprehensive report on Ghana’s nuclear power programme has been developed and submitted to cabinet for approval, the Nuclear Power Institute (NPI) of the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC) has revealed.
The NPI Director, Dr Seth Debrah, who disclosed this yesterday, said if the government gave the green light, feasibility studies would formally begin towards the construction of the country’s first nuclear power plant.
Compiled between 2019 and this year, he said the technical report contained all issues related to the construction of the plant including financing, procurement, stakeholder involvement, gaps identified and recommendations.
“In doing the pre-feasibility studies, we developed a report which we have given the government to take action or what we call a knowledgeable commitment. Government has already made a decision to go nuclear; now it needs to commit based on the technical background that we have given it,” he said.
Dr Debrah was speaking at a workshop for selected journalists, which opened in Accra yesterday on the theme “Ghana’s power generation plan and current options to accelerate industrial development.”
The two-day event, aimed at building the capacity of journalists in energy reporting, is a product of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), Ghana Nuclear Power Programme Organisation and the Nuclear Power Ghana, to create a platform for the media to champion public information on nuclear energy efforts.
According to Dr Debrah, while awaiting for response from the government on the submitted report, feasibility studies had begun informally, and was expected to be completed within four years.
He said the studies had been started because the government had shown commitment to the programme with the establishment of the Nuclear Power Ghana and Nuclear Regulatory Authority which were usually set up after a government had given a commitment.
The number of plants to be constructed, he said, would be determined by the government adding that, a site had been identified close to the seas for the construction of the plants expected to generate about 1,000 megawatts (MW) of power.
After several decades of trying to go nuclear, he said the country needed to leverage this opportunity to realise the dream to boost energy production, otherwise it would take several years for another opportunity to come.
The Manager of Generation Planning of the Volta River Authority, Abdul Noor Wahab said the country’s total installed capacity for existing plants (mainly hydro and thermal) as of November 20, was 4,955 MW with maximum demand peak expected to be about 3,055 MW by the end of the year.
He said even though the country had enough power, measures had to be put in place to generate more now because additional power generation would be required by 2025.
The President of the GJA, Roland Affail Monney, underscored the importance of quality reporting on energy and urged media houses, to establish energy desks to churn out more stories from the sector to enlighten the citizenry.
BY JONATHAN DONKOR