Ghana’s nuclear power agenda on course- Phase II of project scheduled for Q1 2019
Ghana’s agenda to integrate nuclear power into its power generation mix is progressing steadily with the Ministry of Energy setting a target to fully activate the second phase of the project by the end of the first quarter of next year.
The first phase, which was primarily about making the decision to use nuclear power and meeting all the 19 infrastructural needs outlined by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), was fully addressed by the country as at April 2017. The second phase, which includes implementation of the decisions made in phase one, is said to be progressing steadily, although it was yet to be fully activated. The Deputy Director, Nuclear and Alternative Energy at Ministry of Energy, Dr Robert Bright Mawuko Sogbadji, made this known during an interaction with selected journalists in Accra on September 18 under the auspices of the Russian State Atomic Energy Corporation (Rosatom). He said the nuclear integration roadmap provided a timeline of between 2027 and 2030 to roll out nuclear and this has been incorporated into how the various phases would be rolled out. “We were to start phase two by mid of this year, but what delayed was the establishment of the project office because you need the project office for the implementation of the phase two. Once it has been established, we can begin phase two.”“By the end of first quarter next year, we should be beginning phase two. Phase two is the implementation of whatever we did in phase one. When you take phase one and we are looking at planning for security for instance, phase two will look at what exactly what we will do and how to implement that plan,” he said. He explained that although Ghana had fulfilled some of the requirements, including the establishment a nuclear regulatory authority, more feasibility studies are being conducted to ensure a smooth transition. He said the phase two will take between three to four years, while the phase three which will look at the construction of the plants will take between five and six years. Candidate sites Dr Sogbadji said the project office overseeing the nuclear rollout in Ghana comprised the Volta River Authority (VRA), the Bui Power Authority and the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC) with an oversight responsibility by the Ministry of Energy. The project office is being hosted by the Bui Power Authority. He said there were currently candidate sites for the nuclear power production, out of which the country will settle on four. As a result, the project office has been collecting data on these sites in the past months. “Last month, the project office went to the field to add more data to the candidate sites. We did some preliminary studies two years ago to have candidate areas so the team went on the field to do extra work so that at least we can zoom in on four candidate sites. “So far we have about eight which we are still trying to zoom in to four,” he said.