Nuclear Power: government remains resolute and committed

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Science Nuclear Power
Nuclear Power

Government’s quest to include nuclear power to Ghana’s energy generation mix as a baseload remains resolute due to its immense economic benefits.

Dr Robert B. M. Sogbadji, Deputy Director in-charge of Nuclear and Alternative, Ministry of Energy, has said.

He explained that nuclear power was more affordable, reliable, safe, sustainable, and ideal for the country’s industrialisation agenda.

“The addition of nuclear power is enshrined in the National Energy Policy to serve as a baseload. There is no turning back to establishing a nuclear plant and integrating that to our grid by 2030,” he said.

Dr Sogbadji, announced this at the just ended three-day workshop organised to build the capacity of regional managers and editors of the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in energy reporting in Accra.

He said the establishing and integrating nuclear power would help the country achieve its aim to be a net exporter of electricity in the sub-region.

He stated that the government would support the Nuclear Power Authority to successfully navigate the milestones, ensure the operationalisation of the nuclear programme to produce cheap and clean power for use.

The necessary preparatory steps which include improving on all systems and infrastructural work to ensure smooth integration of power from nuclear to the national grid had commenced,he said.

He noted that it would contribute to the country’s climate mitigation goal under the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) to unconditionally lower its Green House Gas emissions by 15 per cent by 2030.

In 2016, energy sector emissions accounted for 15.02 megatonne of carbon dioxide (MtCO2e), representing 79 per cent of total national emissions of 29.28 MtCO2e (excluding net emissions from Forestry and Land Use), a report on review of national emission contributions in Ghana’s (NDCs) under the Paris Agreement indicated.

It revealed that the rising emission trend in the energy sector was driven by the increasing use of liquid fuels in transport and by thermal power generation.

“Light crude oil was the dominant fuel for electricity generation until 2010, when natural gas joined the group of fossil fuels, due primarily to its cost effectiveness. The transport category accounted for 48 per cent, followed by the energy industry 35 per cent and manufacturing and construction 7.2 per cent” the report said.

Commenting on progress on the nuclear programme, Dr Stephen Yamoah, Executive Director, Nuclear Power Ghana, said phase one, which included pre-feasibility study, assessment of infrastructure, financing, technology to be deployed, safety, security, and siting had been completed.

He said currently, the programme was in its second phase, which entailed engaging with vendors, further site assessment, issues of contracting, recruitment and training of staff, more feasibility study, and signing of a contract.
“So far, a couple of vendors have expressed interests so we have issued a request for information, seeking technical and financial information. We will evaluate their responses and make a recommendation to the government for a decision to be made,” he said.

The final phase, he stated, would be the commission and operation of the nuclear power plant that included all the activities necessary to contract, license and construction.

He informed that the completion of the nuclear project aside from giving Ghana a stable power for vehicles and industries, would also make the country fulfill its obligation under the Paris Agreement of cutting down carbon emissions thus making the world habitable.

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