Global experts discuss nuclear energy technology in Accra
Energy sector representatives and stakeholders from various countries have converged on Accra to discuss regional and international cooperation and policies needed to advance nuclear energy programmes.
The high-level ministerial conference, which was opened yesterday , is being held on the theme: “Facilitating the deployment of advanced nuclear energy in emerging economies.”
It is being jointly organised by the Nuclear Energy Agency, the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission and International Framework for Nuclear Energy Cooperation (INEC).
Among the pertinent issues to be discussed are nuclear financing, regulation, human resource development, supply chain development, mapping and project development.
Addressing the opening ceremony, the Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI), Kwaku Afriyie, said the country was in its second phase of developing its nuclear facility for use as part of efforts to fully decarbonise energy source by 2050.
He said sites had already been earmarked for hosting the nuclear facility.
He added that presently, the government had invited international vendors and partners to help build the plant and “Hopefully, the President, through cabinet will make that decision.”
Affirming the country’s readiness, he said Ghana had built up the needed capacity such as setting up regulatory bodies, the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission and nuclear research.
Expressing the country’s commitment to smooth energy transition, Mr Afriyie said the government was working with its partners to address green energy demands and ensure sustained energy solutions.
To help address green energy demands, the minister noted that the country would concentrate on providing reliable and low carbon electricity while sustaining its growth.
The Director General of the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission, Samuel Boakye Dampare, explained that aside from the main site that had been earmarked, a backup site was also ready and added that the next phase was the site characterisation.
In this phase, he said the country needed to rely on advanced countries to support Ghana’s activities.
“In the regulatory space, we have the regulatory authority but they still need to build capacity”.
He urged stakeholders in the country not to shy away from the use of nuclear energy.
“Nuclear tech is a unique tech that if we’re able to use it well, it will benefit all of us.
“All we want to do is to use its delivery to enhance the quality to our people,” he added.
The INEC Chair, Aleshia Duncan, said countries on the continent had diverse challenges as they looked forward to nuclear readiness.
The conference, she said would provide a platform for African countries to learn from best practices and opportunities from advanced countries.
Africa’s nuclear plant
The Director General of the Nuclear Energy Agency, William D. Magwood IV, said after several years of providing support in the area of nuclear energy to advanced countries such as Japan, China, France, and the United States, it was time to share lessons with African countries as they prepared to establish their nuclear plants.
He added that Ghana was far ahead of other countries on the continent saying his outfit would work closely to establish its own plant.
“By 2050, Africa would be the most populous continent and it is essential to secure the safety of the economy and we believe nuclear power has a role to play in that success,” he said.