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France shows interest in Kenya nuclear plan

France has confirmed its interest in supporting Kenya’s nuclear power developments, and is considering to offer technical, engineering and financial support to develop the proposed reactors, reports The East African.

French economy and finance minister Michel Sapin, said this during a recent two day visit to the east African country.

It is reported that Kenya is planning to start building its first nuclear plant in 2022 over a five-year period at an estimated cost of $5 billion.

“We have expressed our readiness to support the construction of the plants. Our support involves everything from expertise to funding,” Sapin said.

Other countries that have declared willingness to working with Kenya include China, Russia, South Korea and Slovakia, and are all said to have already signed various agreements.

Four nuke plants

Kenya’s first reactor is expected to have a capacity of 1,000MW, which is equivalent to 42% of the country’s current installed electricity capacity, media reported.

Media further reported that the Kenya Nuclear Electricity Board is targeting at least four nuke plants with a total output of 4,000MW, pushing the total cost to Sh2 trillion ($19 billion).

According to the nuclear board, despite the heavy upfront costs, nuclear energy is effective in meeting the baseload.

Kenya has identified possible sites for the power plants, which include towns bordering Lake Turkana, the Indian Ocean and Lake Victoria whose waters will cool the reactors.

Nuclear power added to energy mix

In April last year, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) endorsed the country’s application to include nuclear power in its energy mix.

The application took four years in review before being approved by the agency.

“Kenya should utilise nuclear power for it to become a middle-income country in the future,” Mikhail Chudakov, the IAEA’s Deputy Director General, said.

Babalwa Bungane
Babalwa Bungane is the content producer for ESI Africa - Clarion Events Africa. Babalwa has been writing for the publication for over five years. She also contributes to sister publications; Smart Energy International and Power Engineering International. Babalwa is a social media enthusiast.