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Ghana / Site For First Commercial Nuclear Reactor Will Be Chosen ‘By End Of Year’

By David Dalton
21 February 2022

African country hopes plant will begin operation by 2030
Site For First Commercial Nuclear Reactor Will Be Chosen ‘By End Of Year’
Accra, the capital of Ghana in western Africa. Courtesy Amanor Kwaku/Wikipedia.
Nuclear Power Ghana (NPG) said it will choose a preferred site for the country’s first commercial nuclear power station by the end of this year.

NPG, a limited liability company with a mandate to lead the construction and operation of the proposed nuclear station, has identified four candidate sites for the project, according to press reports in the west African country.

NPG executive director Stephen Yamoah said the body is analysing historical data on the four identified sites. He said NPG would produce a site approval report which would be submitted to the regulator for review.

“We have received a host of historical data from over 12 institutions on issues such as seismology and issues of flooding,” he said. “We have received information from the Ghana Statistical Service in terms of population and projected population growth.

“All these are criteria that we factor into the site selection because the nuclear power plant will not be built in a populated area, so we need to know the present population and the projected,” Mr Yamoah said.

In October 2019, the International Atomic Energy Agency said Ghana had made progress implementing recommendations of a 2017 IAEA integrated nuclear infrastructure review (INIR) mission. That review had provided 12 recommendations and eight suggestions to help Ghana in making progress in its nuclear infrastructure development.

The 2019 follow-up noted that Ghana had completed the studies needed for the government to be able to make a knowledgeable commitment to a nuclear power programme. It had also assessed its national legal framework and made plans to proceed with the necessary amendments.

However, the IAEA said further work was needed in areas such as government funding, stakeholder involvement planning, fuel cycle options for the first nuclear power plant and goals for local participation.

In October 2021, press reports said five nuclear reactor vendors had responded to a request for interest issued by Ghana to collaborate with the African country in its planned nuclear power programme.

The reports, quoting an environment ministry official, did not name any companies, but said the vendors were from the US, Russia, Canada and South Korea.

Ghana has ramped up efforts to add nuclear power to its energy mix to support the country’s industrialisation drive. It has targeted operation of its first reactor by 2030.

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