Skip to main content

The Nuclear View from Accra


This one flew in under the radar:
Minister for Energy and Petroleum Emmanuel Kofi Buah, says Ghana is committed to considering nuclear energy as a viable option in power generation.
He said the Ministry is putting the necessary measures in place to ensure the realization of that great goal.
According to him, the increasing demand for power in the country called for accelerated measures to venture into nuclear power, adding that the time has come for critical consideration of this option.
The author here seems to jumping straight from considering to implementing, which still seems a way off. Still, the reason Ghana is looking into nuclear energy is very easy to understand.
The IAEA Africa Head pledged his support for Ghana in its quest to venture into that area, saying that if the country is to achieve higher middle income status, then there is the need for cheap and clean energy to power its developing industries.
That’s about right. Although I didn’t find much discussion of limiting carbon emissions as a goal, it’s something that Ghana has been exceptionally good at up to now.
Currently only 72% of the country's population has access to mains electricity, two-thirds of which is currently generated by hydro-electric plants.
A full-scale nuclear power facility is felt likely to not only electrify the parts of Ghana needing it, but to provide an exportable item to its west African neighbors. In several different ways, it could be an engine of prosperity for the country.
---
Maybe one hesitates at the idea of any African country having access to nuclear energy (South Africa has two reactors, just to cross that t). it can be a pretty fractious place, with many countries barely able to stand themselves up before coup time arrives. That does not describe Ghana, though. It has a fairly stable government and, according to Foreign Policy’s Failed State Index, it scores better than any other country on the continent aside from South Africa and Botswana.
BBC’s roundup of countries puts it this way:
A well-administered country by regional standards, Ghana is often seen as a model for political and economic reform in Africa.
Ghana is already operating an experimental reactor, so, although It may take a little longer than Buah anticipates, commercial operation may be a question of when not if. Should that be so, welcome to the club, Ghana.

Comments

SteveK9 said…
I'll make a prediction. 10 years from now China will have standardized nuclear reactors on one or maybe two designs. They will have built out their supply chain and lowered costs dramatically. And, then they will begin a major export/investment program. That is where the third world is likely to get most of its development in terms of power generation. It's a good thing for the world, if you care about the environment.

We simply don't have the need for growth in power generation in the US for this sort of program. Also, we are currently infatuated with methane ... although that will not last for many more years as prices start to reflect costs of 'fracked' gas.

Popular posts from this blog

Making Clouds for a Living

Donell Banks works at Southern Nuclear’s Plant Vogtle units 3 and 4 as a shift supervisor in Operations, but is in the process of transitioning to his newly appointed role as the daily work controls manager. He has been in the nuclear energy industry for about 11 years.

I love what I do because I have the unique opportunity to help shape the direction and influence the culture for the future of nuclear power in the United States. Every single day presents a new challenge, but I wouldn't have it any other way. As a shift supervisor, I was primarily responsible for managing the development of procedures and programs to support operation of the first new nuclear units in the United States in more than 30 years. As the daily work controls manager, I will be responsible for oversight of the execution and scheduling of daily work to ensure organizational readiness to operate the new units.

I envision a nuclear energy industry that leverages the technology of today to improve efficiency…

Nuclear: Energy for All Political Seasons

The electoral college will soon confirm a surprise election result, Donald Trump. However, in the electricity world, there are fewer surprises – physics and economics will continue to apply, and Republicans and Democrats are going to find a lot to like about nuclear energy over the next four years.

In a Trump administration, the carbon conversation is going to be less prominent. But the nuclear value proposition is still there. We bring steady jobs to rural areas, including in the Rust Belt, which put Donald Trump in office. Nuclear plants keep the surrounding communities vibrant.

We hold down electricity costs for the whole economy. We provide energy diversity, reducing the risk of disruption. We are a critical part of America’s industrial infrastructure, and the importance of infrastructure is something that President-Elect Trump has stressed.

One of our infrastructure challenges is natural gas pipelines, which have gotten more congested as extremely low gas prices have pulled m…

Nuclear Is a Long-Term Investment for Ohio that Will Pay Big

With 50 different state legislative calendars, more than half of them adjourn by June, and those still in session throughout the year usually take a recess in the summer. So springtime is prime time for state legislative activity. In the next few weeks, legislatures are hosting hearings and calling for votes on bills that have been battered back and forth in the capital halls.

On Tuesday, The Ohio Public Utilities Committee hosted its third round of hearings on the Zero Emissions Nuclear Resources Program, House Bill 178, and NEI’s Maria Korsnick testified before a jam-packed room of legislators.


Washingtonians parachuting into state debates can be a tricky platform, but in this case, Maria’s remarks provided national perspective that put the Ohio conundrum into context. At the heart of this debate is the impact nuclear plants have on local jobs and the local economy, and that nuclear assets should be viewed as “long-term investments” for the state. Of course, clean air and electrons …