The Nuclear Power and Energy Agency (NuPEA) has made significant progress towards identifying potential sites for nuclear power plant(s) in preparation to generate nuclear electricity in Kenya. Siting is the term used to describe the rigorous process to select the most appropriate location where a nuclear installation is built. It is one of the important decisions in the early stage of a planned nuclear energy project.
A country embarking on or advancing its nuclear power programme makes certain site considerations in this regard. This is undertaken to ensure the safety of a nuclear installation over the whole period during which it is planned, situated and operated. Such considerations are also called safety-related characteristics. They include earthquakes, volcanic activity, and flooding among others. There are also non-safety-related factors: nuclear security considerations, technology, economics, topography, availability of cooling water, availability of transport and access to the electricity grid.
Kilifi County was identified as one of the potential sites. In May 2021, a delegation from NuPEA led by the chairman of the Board of Directors, Mr. Ezra Odhiambo and the Chief Executive Officer Eng. Collins Juma, MBS held a public participation meeting in the County. The meeting which was held at Uyombo Girls Secondary School was graced by County leadership represented by Kilifi North Member of Parliament – Hon. Owen Baya, Member of County Assembly for Matsangoni Ward – Hon. Hassan Mohamed and various community leaders. The discussions were centred around the benefits that would come along with the nuclear power plant being set up in the County.
NuPEA plans to hold similar engagements with potential host communities in the future to educate the locals about nuclear power development.