Nairobi, Kenya — ESI-AFRICA.COM — 03 December 2010 – The government of Kenya is considering the establishment of a nuclear power plant on the country’s coast, despite certain concerns over the safety implications of such a project.
According to the latest Kenyan Gazette notice, this is one of the items of reference of the Nuclear Electricity Project Committee, headed by Rongo member of parliament Ochillo Ayacko.
“It will identify appropriate sites for construction of a nuclear power plant along Kenya’s coastal shoreline, taking into account environmental and social impact considerations,” said the notice, signed by energy minister Kiraitu Murungi.
The 13-member committee is expected to undertake civic education on nuclear power generation, and lobby key players such as the Central Organisation of Trade Unions, the Federation of Kenya Employers, and the Kenya Association of Manufacturers, as well as civil society.
It will ensure that all terms and conditions of the global nuclear technology watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, in relation to approval of nuclear power plants, are met.
Besides coming up with a roadmap on the project, including timelines for the Atomic Energy Agency’s approval, the committee will oversee the implementation aspect, including a comprehensive legal and regulatory framework.
It will also review and approve a capacity building plan targeting young Kenyans with degrees “’ especially in engineering and mathematics “’ for the purpose of nuclear research and development.
Energy permanent secretary Patrick Nyoike revealed that the government had set aside KSh200 million (R17.5 million) as seed capital for the project, which is among the alternative sources the government is exploring to boost power supply and reduce reliance on hydro-electricity. “We are targeting production of at least 1 000MW from nuclear sources,” he added.