Kenya hopes to construct its first nuclear power plant by 2027, Nuclear Energy Board Chief Executive Collins Juma has said.
A special unit will be formed to source for funds for the project that is estimated to cost US$5 billion.
Speaking during a meeting involving Kneb, the Consumer Federation of Kenya (Cofek), engineering students in the country and the public, Mr Juma sad that the Nuclear Board is currently identifying possible sites of where the plant will be set up.
Potential sites are analysed against a number of environmental factors including water, seismology and geology and ranked based on a numerical value assigned to each of the factors.
“Preliminary studies show that Kenya has a number of potential sites for nuclear power plants,” Juma said.
How it works
A nuclear power plant splits uranium atoms inside a reactor in a process called Fission.
Heat generated from fission is used to produce steam which in turn drives a turbine connected to a generator.
Nuclear power is environmentally friendly, affordable, reliable and sustainable.
Kenya has identified nuclear energy has been identified as a source to fill the deficit Kenya is projected to have by 2030.
But some Kenyans are skeptical of safety fears that might come with the nuclear power plant in Kenya.
While lauding the project as a major step forward Cofek secretary-general Stephen Mutoro urged the board to involve consumers while the process is ongoing to make them fully understand the plan.
Mr Mutoro said that with devolution picking pace, some counties might reject the project posing a new challenge to the nuclear board.
But Joseph Maina, Radiation Protection Board acting chief officer says that Kenya has a nuclear safeguard where nuclear material must be accounted for atom by atom to make sure no diversion for unintended purposes.
Kenya plans to build a 1000Megawatts (MW) nuclear power plant aimed at increasing power capacity that is currently at 1700MW and is projected that the country will need 16, 000MW of electricity by 2030.
The first nuclear power plant in Kenya is expected to create about 5000 new jobs throughout its construction.
Africa countries most hit by inadequate electricity supply has in recent years shift focus to clean energy particularly nuclear. Last month, Nigeria signed an agreement with Russia’s nuclear firm Rosatom to build two first nuclear power plants in the country.
South Africa is operating a nuclear plant while Egypt is on advanced stages of setting upa nuclear power plant in the country. Ghana, Tunisia, Uganda and Tanzania are all planning to set up first nuclear power plants.