Ghana to include nuclear power to its energy mix by 2029

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Ghana’s quest to industrialise for economic growth and development has fast-tracked plans to establish nuclear power in the country within the next decade.

The country intends to include nuclear power in its current energy mix of gas, crude, hydro and thermal by 2029 and also export to other countries in the subregion.

This among other things is also aimed at driving down the cost of power for consumers as the country as of 2014 charged some of the highest fees for power in Africa.

Addressing a gathering of public information officers and media personnel at a boot camp on nuclear energy, Deputy Director in-charge of Nuclear and Alternative Energy at the Ministry of Energy underscored the relevance of having a diversified energy mix, especially adding nuclear as Ghana embarks on its industrialisation agenda.

Dr Robert Sogbadzi emphasised available cheap and safe energy mix is a strong pillar on which many countries have industrialised.

South Africa, he noted, has two nuclear plants and Egypt is currently establishing four units of 1200 megawatts each costing about $20 billion.

Dr Sogbadzi said, “we are looking at clean energy, we are looking at energy demands for the future, we have considered renewables, we have considered thermal and we are considering nuclear power plants because we will be doing one district one factory and industry always operate on cheap power and if you don’t have cheap power industry will move to a place where there is cheap power. like the way, we have in China. Industry moved from Europe and China and China was able to grow.”

“…This year we are to finalise ur progression report and then the country will issue a white paper on our nuclear programme but based on the roadmap of the Ghana nuclear power programme we are to commence construction by 2023 as he said earlier and looking at injecting nuclear energy into the grip by 2029, 2030,” he added.

He also debunked claims of health risks associated with the use of nuclear power, remarking that safety is incorporated into the design of the plant and in most cases, only a negligible amount of radiation harmful to the human body is emitted.

Dimitri Shornikov, General Director, Rosatom Central and South Africa explained that even though Ghana has a nuclear station, it is used for research and training purposes and the creation of isotopes for health purposes.

Citing the example of South Africa, Dimitri Shornikov stressed, nuclear energy generates 7% of the country’s grid and has resulted in relatively cheap power for both domestic consumers and industries compared to Ghana and most countries on the continent.

He disclosed that there are about 450 nuclear plants in the world in about 30 countries that generate 11% of the world’s electricity and advised Ghana to aggressively work to make its nuclear plant plans a reality.

Nuclear energy was added to our national policy in 2010 after a commission was inaugurated in 2007 to research and determine its viability in Ghana.

In attendance at the event were representatives from Ministry of Energy, Ghana Atomic Energy Commission and National Nuclear Research Institute. Source : Ghana Web

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