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Kenya is Set to Join the Exclusive List of Countries Pursuing Nuclear Energy

Kenya plans to begin building its first nuclear power station in 2027 as the nation works to diversify its energy production in response to increased demand and its goal for zero-carbon energy.

Justus Wabuyabo, acting CEO of the Nuclear Power and Energy Agency (NuPEA), disclosed to the Kenyan newspaper, Business Daily that the organization has advanced preparations to release international tenders for the building of either Kilifi or Kwale counties.

The information was revealed after the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) gave Kenya permission to proceed with building the infrastructure for the facilities in 2021.

“We will do the bidding stage, as anytime between 2026 and 2027 and start construction in 2027. Construction ranges six to ten years so we are looking at 2034-35 to commission the first plant,” Mr Wabuyabo said.

“We are now focusing on Kilifi and Kwale as our ideal sites. They have met most of the criteria but before we determine the final site, we have to do a detailed scientific study as provided for by IAEA like seismic tests,” he added.

The facility is anticipated to have a capacity of 1,000 Megawatts (MW), which, if implemented successfully, will be essential to improving the economy’s access to power and reducing reliance on polluting thermal facilities.

The goal of Kenya to build a nuclear power station is motivated by the anticipated rise in electricity consumption as the nation strives to become a middle-income economy by 2030.

As of May, geothermal energy made up the largest portion of the electricity produced, contributing 45.21 percent, followed by hydropower (21.05 percent), wind (16.08 percent), and solar energy (3.92 percent).

But in addition to the pricey nuclear facility, Kenya will also need to update its electrical transmission system in order to supply nuclear power plants with dependable and off-site power.

The present power grid will need to be significantly improved, according to a collaborative study by the NuPEA and SGS consortium, because of the strict safety requirements placed on nuclear facilities and the magnitude of such installations.

Only South Africa in all of Africa has a commercial nuclear power station, which produces 5% of the nation’s electricity. 47% of the electricity produced in the United States is nuclear.

Source : Business Insider Africa