Ghana Cannot Disappoint With The Second Opportunity To Add Nuclear Energy To Her Energy Mix- GAEC Boss
The Director-General of Ghana Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC), Professor B JB Nyarko has stated that Ghana cannot disappoint with the second opportunity to include nuclear energy in her generation mix after Ghana’s first president Dr. Kwame Nkrumah initiated the process as far back as the 1960s.
With an ambitious vision to apply nuclear science to a broad range of the country’s development challenges, Dr Kwame Nkrumah commissioned Ghana’s first Atomic Reactor at Kwabenya in 1964 to add to nuclear to future energy mix but due to overthrow, this vision did not fully materialized.
“We simply cannot disappoint with the second opportunity to add nuclear energy to our energy mix,” GAEC Boss said, in his welcome address at the opening ceremony of Ghana’s Phase 1 Integrated Nuclear Infrastructure Review (INIR) Mission which opened in Accra on Monday, 16th January, 2017.
Ghana has suffered a serious power generation crisis for the last two (2) decades resulting in low productivity, loss of jobs, high cost of doing business and high cost of utilities. The nuclear power programme, if implemented would greatly impact on the efforts to attain energy sufficiency for Ghana.
He acknowledged that nuclear power programme implementation requires tremendous efforts, large investment costs and human capacity building, but said the Commission is encouraged by Nkrumah’s vision, support from government, enthusiasm of stakeholders, prospective jobs the programme would create and above all, the reduction of the country’s greenhouse gas emissions.
Furthermore, he noted that Ghana Nuclear Power Programme Organization (GNPPO) is committed to safety, security, and safeguards requirements.
“It is important to state our commitment to safety, security and safeguards requirements. It is for this reason that our road-map for nuclear power development follows the IAEA’s methodology that covers 19 key infrastructure issues, in 3 phases and with 3 milestones.”
A team of International Atomic Energy Agency (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 advise on a potential use of nuclear energy for power generation to solve the perennial electricity crises that have bedevilled the country since the 1980s. Subsequently, Ghana Nuclear Power Programme Organization (GNPPO) 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.