The Nuclear Power Ghana (NPG) has started a unique stakeholder engagement with Management and staff of Volta River Authority (VRA) and Bui Power Authority (BPA) to sensitise them on Ghana’s Nuclear Power Project.
The NPG team led by the Executive Director, Dr Stephen Yamoah, has met with key staff of the Technical Services and the Environment and Sustainable Development Departments in Akosombo.
The team also met the Management and some staff of the BPA in Accra, whilst Directors and staff of BPA at the Bui Generating Station in the Savannah Region also participated through their online facility.
The Director of Nuclear Power Institute (NPI) of the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC), Dr Seth Debrah, in a presentation, explained the benefits of the Nuclear Power technology to the groups and job opportunities for the staff during the construction and operation of the Power Plant.
He highlighted the safety and security issues inherent in the operation of a Nuclear Power facility.
Dr. Debrah said, for a 1000MWe Nuclear Power Plant, as many as between 3000 and 4000 skilled workforces would be required, while a small modular one would require between 700 and 1000 professional workforce.
The engagement provided an opportunity for NPG to address issues regarding safety, disposal of the nuclear waste, the technology type, and selection process of a suitable site for the project.
The Executive Director of NPG, Dr Stephen Yamoah, provided information on recent developments and milestones achieved on the country’s Nuclear Power Project.
He said Ghana is at the 2nd Phase of the Nuclear Power Programme as per the requirements of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
According to him, NPG has completed the ranking assessment of the four candidate sites and would in due course settle on the preferred site based on seismicity and environmental condition of the location.
He, however, did not disclose which region the site is situated but said due to the large volume of water required for the cooling of the Plant activities, areas along the coast of the country are most preferred.
Dr. Yamoah also disclosed that, NPG, through the Ministry of Energy issued ‘Request for Information’ (RFI) to about seven vendor countries through their respective Embassies.
He said, the 15 responses received, 6 on large Reactors and 9 on Small Reactors were successfully evaluated and the report has been submitted to the Ministry of Energy for onward submission to Cabinet.
During the engagement at the BPA, the Director in charge of Renewable Energy, Mr. Wisdom Ahiataku-Togobo, made a presentation on Government’s policy direction for Nuclear Power and BPA’s role and involvement.
He stated Ghana’s commitment to the Paris Agreement and BPA’s presence as the main vehicle to propel energy transition to Net Zero emission.
The Director, Legal Services at BPA, who is also the Legal Advisor & Board Secretary for the NPG, Mr. Franklin Addai, explained some operational obligations including portions of the amended Act, 2007 which gives BPA the mandate to develop renewable and clean power to other off takers besides the Electricity Company of Ghana, (ECG).
Ing. Samuel Kow Ansah, Deputy CEO of BPA in charge of Engineering Services, who represented the CEO, Hon. Samuel Kofi Dzamesi, pledged the support of the Authority to the Nuclear Power Ghana.
He urged staff to seek knowledge on Nuclear Power technology describing it as the best alternative Baseload for Ghana’s industrialisation.
He urged staff to share their skills and knowledge acquired in areas needed to build NPG.
Speaking to energynewsafrica.com, the Public Affairs Manager of NPG, Ms. Bellona-Gerard Vittor-Quao, explained that VRA and BPA are shareholders and sponsoring institutions of NPG, and the initiative is to provide and share information on Government’s efforts, milestones achieved, and recent developments on the Nuclear Power Project.
“We believe that the engagements would improve knowledge sharing as well as enable our colleagues explore the opportunities for professional diversity the project is creating for a skilled workforce. VRA, has a story of 60 years in the energy field, with a lot of experiences to share especially when it comes to energy infrastructure development. Recently, VRA revised its strategic theme to “Inculcating Private Sector Mindset in Public sector Service Delivery” and this Sustainability Plan has Improving Staff Competencies and Effectiveness and Increase Strategic Alliance and Relationships among others as deliverables. It is important to note that, the days of VRA monopoly is history, therefore staff is expected to read and know the current trends in the Energy business brace themselves for the competition if they are to remain resilient and valuable. Adding value to activities including the sharing of knowledge, skills, and expertise with the willing younger generation, establish institutional collaborations to renew benchmarks, and strengthen best system practices and policies”, she stressed.
According to Madam Bellona-Gerard, NPG is also collaborating with some identified technical and tertiary institutions for the development of appropriate training and nurturing of expected human resources to support the nuclear project.