Kenya plans to utilize nuclear power for electricity generation by 2036, Nuclear Power and Energy Agency (NuPEA) Acting CEO Justus Wabuyabo has said.
“Potential sites have been identified in Kilifi and Kwale counties and will be subjected to further analysis, in a process known as site characterization,” he added.
He made the sentiments during a joint stakeholder meeting in Kilifi organised by NuPEA, Coast Peoples Forum and Pwani University. The topic of discussion was the Merits and Demerits of Nuclear Science and Technology and its space in Africa’s Development Agenda.
“Safety is our overriding principle in the implementation of the Nuclear Power Programme as the government has a moral duty to ensure that people and the environment, present and future, are protected against radiation risks” said Wabuyabo.
The International Atomic Energy Agency’s Director for Africa, Prof. Shaukat Abdulrazak affirmed that the benefits of nuclear technology far outweigh its perceived demerits.
“Fourteen African countries are considering nuclear power generation for electricity while the likes of China are building new plants,” said Prof. Abdulrazak.
The IAEA Director for Africa further stated that 43 per cent of Africa’s population lacked access to electricity as per 2021 statistics and that the IAEA is supporting nuclear power planning and development to foster nuclear energy sustainability on the continent.
Pwani University Acting Vice Chancellor Prof. James Kahindi said the institution was keen to have a Memorandum of Understanding with NuPEA to foster research, academic linkages including scholarship opportunities, as well to benefit from the IAEA’s programmes for peaceful uses of nuclear science and technology.
Other speakers during the event were Acting Director General of the Kenya Nuclear Regulatory Authority (KNRA) James Keter and NuPEA’s Director for Nuclear Energy Infrastrucuture Development Eng. Erick Ohaga.
The Nuclear Power and Energy Agency is a State Corporation in the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum. Its mandate is to undertake development of Kenya’s nuclear power programme, as well as research in energy technologies. Further, it is tasked with spearheading capacity building for the energy and petroleum sectors.