In East Africa, Energy and Petroleum Principal Secretary Eng. Joseph Njoroge announced that nuclear power will play a critical role in Kenya’s energy mix within the next ten years, Standard Media reported.
Speaking at the official opening of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) status review of Kenya’s Nuclear power programme, Njoroge assured delegates that the power programme will be implemented with safety a key consideration.
“Kenya will successfully implement its nuclear power programme safely and efficiently, borrowing from best practices in countries that have used the technology.
Njoroge added: “There is no reverse gear on this road toward economic growth and prosperity. Nuclear electricity is part of the package that will get us there. The energy mix in Kenya needs a variety of sources as we strive to realize the Vision 2030 aspirations.”
Kenya expects to generate 4,000MW of nuclear power by 2033, with the first 1,000MW plant to come online by 2025, Standard Media reported.
Nuclear: Gaps in the system
With the country still needing to form an independent regulatory body for nuclear power generation, 11 experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency are meeting in Nairobi to conduct what is referred to as an “Integrated Nuclear Infrastructure Review (INIR)”, Standard Media reported.
Kenya, Nigeria and Morocco are scheduled for an Integrated Nuclear Infrastructure Review in 2015, a process conducted by the IAEA, which is acted upon request from a member country, media reported.
Integrated Nuclear Infrastructure Review
The Kenya Nuclear Electricity Board (KNEB) met with local nuclear stakeholders in May 2015 to conduct a preparatory meeting with the IAEA to plan for the main objective of the process.
The review happens in three phases, with the first one being a self-evaluation done by the relevant country on its nuclear infrastructure requirements, which forms the basis of review.
The second part is when the IAEA conducts interviews with a large scope of stakeholders in the country under review. The IAEA then drafts a report on the status of the country’s preparedness and areas of improvement for its nuclear power programme, Standard Media reported.
The findings are then disclosed to decision makers for appropriate action.
Kenya’s final report is scheduled to be presented to the Government by the IAEA in November 2015.
KNEB Executive Chairman Ochilo Ayacko explained: “This review is very important for the country as it will gauge the capacity and progress of Kenya’s nuclear power programme and provide a clear framework of getting to the next level in accordance with international best practices for generating nuclear electricity.”
Anne Starz, a senior IAEA official added: “The IAEA will continue to work closely with Kenya in developing the requirements, capacity and structures required for a successful nuclear electricity programme.”