Friday, August 29, 2014

Nuclear Energy Sets Forth in Ghana

An energy professional with the great name of Jude Nuru writes on Ghanaweb:

It is worth mentioning that the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission has over the years successfully operated a nuclear plant on a small scale which has been of significant benefit to Ghanaians health wise. Now is the time to rally support for the Commission as it prepares to build Ghana’s first nuclear power plant which has immense potential not only to halt the recurrent power outages, but also bring additional revenue to mother Ghana through the exportation of excess power to neighboring countries.

Mr. Nuru is mostly interested in dispelling nuclear myths, at which he does a fine job. He even tackles the tough-to-simplify idea of the risk benefit ratio – nuclear is low risk and huge benefit, but that can be a hard proposition to hear over a din of fearmongering. But he does it.

The question is: is Ghana moving forward with a nuclear facility?

A bill is being prepared to establish an independent regulatory authority to control the operation of nuclear technology.
This follows Ghana formally writing to the Intentional Atomic Energy Agency, IAEA, to allow her use nuclear in its energy mix.
The Director General of the Atomic Energy Commission, Professor Benjamin Nyarko, announced this to Radio Ghana in Accra.

That’s from August 6. And on August 12:

The reconstituted Board of Ghana Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC) was inaugurated on Monday, to provide direction to Management to help mitigate the myriad of challenges facing the country and ensure sustainable development.

And this story indicates a lot of pieces are being put in place:

He said a clear pathway has been outlined for Ghana to add nuclear energy to her power mix in the not too distant future, citing the Nuclear Regulatory Authority Bill, the Convention on Early Notification of Nuclear of Nuclear Accident, Ratification of the Convention on Supplementary Compensation for Nuclear Damage and the Ratification of the Convention on Assistance in the case of Nuclear Accident of Radiological Emergency which are all before Parliament for approval.

Well, that’s a lot to get approved, but all indications are that it will happen. The '”he” mentioned there is Akwasi Opong-Fosu, Ghana’s Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, who opened the Atomic Energy Commission.

I especially liked this commend from Minister Opong-Fosu:

He is convinced that the Commission undoubtedly has a huge potential to help turn Ghana round in its quest to develop into a proper upper middle income country.

Just so.

Ghana started talking about this in 2012, but the subject’s dropped off the radar a bit until now. It’s good to see additional steps taken now.

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