IAEA approves Kenya’s nuclear plans

Nuclear Regulatory Commission flickrThe international atomic energy agency (IAEA) has approved Kenya’s application to proceed with its first nuclear power plant after a week-long assessment

Eleven experts of the IAEA were in Nairobi for the assessment and they have found that Kenya met most of the terms and conditions necessary for the approval of a nuclear power plant. The agency has asked Kenya to develop a legal framework for the project.

On Thursday, the IAEA presented mining cabinet secretary Dan Kazungu with a four-year long nuclear energy review on Kenya’s nuclear power application. The report of the comprehensive assessment, also known as the integrated nuclear infrastructure review, indicated that the country has made advances in the field such as conducting a feasibility study that addressed the main issues considered in a nuclear energy programme.

“Kenyans do not fear nuclear power, especially since it can have a very positive impact on tariffs. What they fear is safety concerns that can be allayed by public sensitisation,” Kazungu said.

Kenya plans to set up its first nuclear power plant with a capacity of 1,000MW by 2027, which is estimated to rise to a total of 4,000MW by 2033, making nuclear electricity a key component of the country’s energy mix.

Kenya has already signed an MoU with China for the construction of the plant, which would enable it to obtain expertise from the Asian country by way of training, skills development and technical support.

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