Nuclear power grid connection scheduled for 2036, agency says

Kenya’s first nuclear power plant is scheduled to go live in 2036 according to Nuclear Power and Energy Agency (NuPEA).

The agency anticipates that the first nuclear reactor will be constructed along the Kenya coastline due to availability of water and space.

NuPEA Director of Nuclear Energy Infrastructure Development Eng. Eric Ohaga says small modular plants will generate between 50 and 270 megawatts of nuclear energy.

Kenya has been toying with the idea of setting up the second nuclear power plant in Africa for the last two decade.

“As a country we have developed a roadmap of the development of a nuclear power plant in this country so that we are able to provide reliable, adequate and cost effective power to this nation in order to drive Vision 2030 agenda item,” Ohaga said.

The original plan was to commission a 1,000 megawatts plants by December 2020, a time frame that the country missed.

The nuclear power energy agency says Kenya has made great strides in enhancing the legal framework and setting up the necessary regulatory structures to ensure proper management of radioactive wastes and spent fuel.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) has been working with NUPEA to ensure compliance with the existing international standards on nuclear energy.

“We are using IEA milestone approach where look at phase 1, 2 and 3 to be able to develop 19 infrastructural issues which are critical for the development of any nuclear power plant in any country. For you to be allowed to proceed from phase 1 to phase 2, as a country you must be able to demonstrate that you have met all those requirements for you to move forward,” said Ohanga.

In the last review in 2019, IEA outlined 15 areas that Kenya is supposed to improve on before embarking on the second review slated for 2023.

Speaking during the ongoing 28th Engineers conference Engineers Board of Kenya, Registrar Margaret Ogai said Kenya has enough technical expertise to construct and manage a nuclear plant.

NUPEA says the Kenyan nuclear plant will have a shelf life of 100 years.


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