Kenya on course for nuclear power

March 18, 2011 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 18 – Kenya will go ahead with a plan to create a nuclear plant to meet the country’s energy challenges even after concerns were raised about the technology following Japan’s devastating earthquake and Tsunami.

Nuclear Electricity Development Project Executive Chairman Ochilo Ayacko said on Thursday that the incident in Japan only served as a lesson on the safety measures Kenya would adopt while implementing the project.

“By the time we are authorised, the International Atomic Energy Agency will have come and reviewed Kenya and said that Kenya is ready to use nuclear technology,” Mr Ayacko said.

“The incident in Japan is tragic and we are learning from it, it is something that is informing where we will locate the plant and how to deal with such incidents,” he added.

Mr Ayacko described nuclear energy as one that provided cost effective, reliable and quality electricity for the industry and general consumers.

He promised that the country would not compromise on the required standards as it was still at the initial stages of the plan which would take between 10 and 15 years to actualise.

“In fact all that time is intended to equip Kenya with the latest technology on safeguards, security, liability and generation,” he said.

“By the time we will come to the stage of putting up a power plant we will already have the technology and human resource,” he added.

The country hopes to generate an extra 1,000 megawatts of electricity to begin with using the new technology.

Currently, it relies on hydro-power generation which is expensive and unreliable especially during failed rain seasons.

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