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Ghana identified as a nuclear-capable country

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Ghana Nuclear Power Programme Organisation
Ghana Nuclear Power Programme Organisation

Mr William D. Magwood, IV, Director-General of Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA), has identified Ghana as one of the countries Sub-Saharan Africa that is ready to fully exploit nuclear technology for socioeconomic growth.

“The country seems to be ahead of others, in terms of intellectual infrastructure, strong core people with excellent technical training and good political commitment.

“Participating ministries understand their policy roles in detail, structures are in place and regulatory agencies understand nuclear safety,” he said at a media briefing on the sidelines of the International Framework for Nuclear Energy Cooperation (IFNEC) Ministerial Conference in Accra on Thursday.

The IFNEC brought together high-level officials, nuclear industry representatives and key stakeholders to discuss regional and international cooperation and policies needed to advance nuclear energy programmes.

Participants discussed solutions to nuclear financing, regulation, human resource development, supply chain development, mapping and project development.

Mr Magwood, who was responding to a question, said the NEA would support the country to succeed.

He said Ghanaian technical people had an advanced awareness of available technologies that might benefit the country based on its circumstances.

“…It is one thing to invite a vendor country to build a nuclear plant for you and anybody can do that. But to take responsibility to understand the technologies and make a choice that they want multiple nuclear technologies, I find this very extremely advantageous and advanced than what I see in other countries,” he added.

Nuclear technologies, Magwood noted, had become attractive to many other African countries, saying that it was a positive sign given that Africa would be the most populous continent by the 2050.

Professor Samuel Boakye Dampare, Director General of Ghana Atomic Energy Commission said the country had selected Nsuban in the Western region and Obotan in the Central region as two potential sites to host its first nuclear power plant.

Detailed technical assessments were being concluded at both locations to determine the preferred sites.

The selection of the site was an important step in the second phase of the country’s Nuclear Power Programme and precedes the selection of a vendor/partner to construct the plant.

Four sites were initially selected for the construction of the nuclear power plant, and after further studies by Ghanaian experts, the team ranked the sites to settle on Nsuban and Obotan.

Prof. Dampare said progress had been made in the selection of vendors and that the government would announce which partner country would build the nuclear plant by 2030.

He said Ghana had established the Nuclear Regulatory Authority, and the capacity of the institutions was being built to enhance its work.

The country is seeking to add nuclear energy to its energy portfolio to support industrialization after the dwindling of traditional energy sources.

Industries in major sectors of the Ghanaian economy have called for the inclusion of nuclear power as an alternative source of electricity in the country’s energy mix.

About 75 per cent of firms from the manufacturing, agriculture, health, energy, and mining sector say they were willing to upgrade their capacity to be able to take part in Ghana’s nuclear agenda.
The finding was made in a baseline nationwide social and economic survey on generating electricity using nuclear technology by the Institute of Statistical Social and Economic Research (ISSER).

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