The Managing Editor of energynewsafrica.com, an online portal operated in the Republic of Ghana, West Africa, Mr. Michael Creg Afful is urging Ghanaians not to pay attention to those opposing the country’s quest to introduce nuclear power generation into the energy mix.
Many uninformed people have been misinforming others about only the atomic use of nuclear and also claiming that nuclear energy is very expensive and takes time to build as compared to wind and solar power plants.
Ghana’s energy sources have been mainly from hydro and thermal with the recent addition of solar and biomass.
To ensure energy sustainability, Ghana has decided to join countries like USA, France, China, Russia, Korea, India and Canada which form part of over 20 countries in the world having 449 nuclear reactors.
Ghana’s nuclear power agenda dates back in 1963 when the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission was established with the launch of 2MW research reactor.
The decision was, however, suspended until 2008 when a Cabinet decision was taken to include nuclear in the electricity generation mix.
Since then, successive governments have shown maximum support and cooperation towards the realisation of this goal.
In 2017, the current administration proceeded to establish the Owner /Operator Organisation-Nuclear Power Ghana (NPG) which has been duly registered as a limited liability company for the Nuclear Power Plant.
Speaking as a panelist on an Accra-based Awake TV show Analyst programme on the prospects of Renewable Energy Sector, Mr. Creg averred that though nuclear energy takes time to build, it is more reliable, cheaper and profitable to developing economies such as Ghana and Africa as a whole contrary to what critics are saying.
“Since the issue of Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster (2011), the Chernobyl disaster (1986), the Three Mile Island accident (1979), are we saying there had not been research to improve nuclear technological development?” he queried.
Mr. Creg Afful, who said he is not an authority on nuclear, went on to cite examples of an article written by a South African-based scientists Dr. Kelvin Kemm and Knox Msebenzi, Managing Director of Nuclear Industry Association of South Africa under the heading ‘Nuclear Power: A sensible and sustainable option for Africa’ to support why nuclear energy has improved South Africa’s economy.
He also quoted Eng. Collins Gordon Juma, CEO of Nuclear Power and Energy Agency of Kenya, who recently made a presentation at a symposium organised by the Federation of African Engineering Organizations (FAOE) via zoom, which he participated.
He said that nuclear power technology has been used for over 50 years with only three incidents, stressing that there has been improvement in the technology since those three incidents.
According to Mr. Creg Afful, Eng. Gordon Juma stated that for Africa to industrialise, it must invest in nuclear power plants since it is more reliable and cheaper.
Mr. Creg Afful said the expert extolled the advantages of nuclear power generation as a vehicle to speed Africa’s industrial drive if taken full use of it.
“Secondly, the argument people make that it takes time to build a nuclear energy resource is true as compared to solar and thermal plants. But, you know that solar is useful during the day and we cannot build a large solar park without a reliable base load generation source such as nuclear. Look countries like China, USA, Germany, India, Spain, UK, France, Brazil, Canada and Italy which are the top 10 solar and wind power countries have nuclear power plants to support the variable nature of the solar or wind. And it is factual that all these countries with nuclear are industrilised including South Africa.
He urged those going about polluting people’s minds that nuclear is dangerous to stop that deception and rather talk about the good sides of it to prospective investors to help grow the African industrial revolution.
“Ghana is going to build, I think, about 1000MW of nuclear power plant for a start and to him, it is novel and would help in accelerating Ghana’s industrial aspirations,’’ he said.
Mr. Alexander Konadu, CEO of Solar Enablers Ghana who was also a panelist on the show concurred that nuclear power plant is more dependable than other sources of renewable energy.
“Nuclear power is more dependable but because of climate change people want to go the easier way,’’ he said.
He noted that unlike solar power plant which depends on sunshine during the day nuclear power plant does not arguing that it is all whether.