ProProfessor Benjamin J.B. Nyarko, Board Chairman, Nuclear Power Ghana (NPG), says the Organisation has prioritised safety and security as it prepares towards building and operating the country’s first Nuclear Power Plant.
“Safety and security is the key issue considered in nuclear power. The design of the reactor is done in a manner that does not affect the operation of the system.
“You also need well-trained people to be able to man the reactor, and I can assure you that all these issues have been taken into consideration and we are working on it,” Prof. Nyarko, who is also the Director General of the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission, said at the closing of a workshop for media professionals in Accra.
Ghana is working on the construction and operation of its first nuclear plant by 2030.
The NPG has the mandate to lead the realisation of the project as well as own and operate the plant after construction.
Currently, the country has ratified all the 12 international treaties set by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), governing the implementation of a nuclear power programme.
The treaties include the Convention on Early Notification of a Nuclear Accident; Convention on Assistance in the Case of Nuclear Accident or Radiological Emergency; Convention on Nuclear Safety; Convention on Physical Protection of Nuclear Material; Vienna Convention on Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage, and the Comprehensive Safety Standards Agreement.
Prof. Nyarko said the NPG was working closely with the IAEA to ensure that all relevant safety and security requirements were met as part of the Verification Safeguards of the agency.
He said the country had the capacity and qualified personnel to safely operate the plant, adding that those personnel would be continuously trained and exposed to new technologies to enhance safety.
“The IAEA has put in place high standards to ensure that the nuclear plant is operated safely and peacefully. Each year, the Agency sends its officers to verify operations and ensure that the operators account for all their activities,” he said.
Addressing the opening of the workshop, Dr Stephen Yamoah, Executive Director, NPG, said 15 vendors from different countries had expressed interest in partnering the NPG to establish the country’s first Nuclear Power Plant.
He said they were evaluating the proposals and that a report would be submitted to the Minister of Energy for action after the assessment.
Dr Yamoah said NPG had successfully completed the first phase of the requirements and that the second phase, which involved the selection of the project site and vendors, was on course.