Ghana Can Avoid Nuclear Accidents- Dr. Nii Moi Thompson
When the word, ‘nuclear’ is mentioned, people tend to instinctively think of accidents that occurred at nuclear stations like Three Mile Island in the United States, or Chernobyl in the former USSR, or, more recently, Fukushima in Japan.
But delivering a keynote address at the opening ceremony of Ghana’s Phase 1 Integrated Nuclear Infrastructure Review (INIR) Mission in Accra on Monday, 16th January, 2017, the Director-General of the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC), Dr. Nii Moi Thompson assured that, with good planning and management, Ghana can avoid nuclear accidents.
“With good planning and management, we can avoid nuclear accidents or minimise its impact on life and the environment in the unlikely event that it occurs with all the safeguards that now exist,” he said.
He added that, besides assurances of safety, nuclear power is highly environmentally friendly and has zero greenhouse gas emissions at the plant operation level which is a plus for Ghana’s Green Economy Agenda.
According to him, these positive assessments provide enough justification for Ghana to seriously consider the nuclear power option to secure energy security for future economic growth and social development.
He added that the NDPC is looking at this in their long-Term National Development Plan for the country.
A team of IAEA staff and international experts with experience in different aspects of developing nuclear power infrastructure in a safe, secure and sustainable manner are in Ghana to evaluate the status of the country’s infrastructure for the introduction of a nuclear power programme, identify areas needing further action and assistance, and thereby assist the country and its programme partners to focus on needed actions to enable the achievement of the Phase 1.
The Government of Ghana made a sovereign decision to consider inclusion of nuclear energy in the country’s energy mix following a Presidential Committee set up in 2007 in order to consider a potential use of unclear energy for power generation to solve the perennial electricity crises that have bedevilled the country since the 1980s. Subsequently, Ghana Nuclear Power Programme Organization was formed in 2012 with the mandate to see to the development of the country’s nuclear power programme.
The one week INIR Mission will end on Monday, 23rd January, 2017.