Government will soon announce the technology and the vendor country or countries to partner with Nuclear Power Ghana (NPG) for the country’s nuclear power project (NPP), as a nuclear power plant is expected to be fully operational by 2030, Professor Stephen Yamoah, Executive Director of the NPG, has said.
Ghana’s nuclear power plant is expected to be fully operational by 2030 as the country moves toward industrialisation.
Speaking to the B&FT during a three-day workshop for regional managers of the Ghana News Agency (GNA) and selected editors in the Eastern Region last week, Professor Yamoah said the government of Ghana has already evaluated responses of six-vendor countries after the country submitted a request for information (RFI) technical document to the countries through their diplomatic missions.
“We are engaging the Ministry of Energy, and once that process is through the ministry will put a memo together for Cabinet consideration. That is the stage that we are at now,” Professor Yamoah stated, expressing hope that the ministry will expedite preparation of the memo for Cabinet consideration.
From recent nuclear power projects in Egypt and the UAE, Professor Yamoah projects that the successful construction of a nuclear power plant in Ghana will cost the taxpayer between US$6-8 billion for a large reactor and between US$2-5 billion for a small one.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) gave Ghana the green light to produce power from nuclear energy in 2014 – decades after the country opened negotiations with the agency.
The country’s first attempt to get approval to produce power from nuclear started in the 1960s during the presidency of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, Ghana’s first president.
The Director of Ghana’s Nuclear Power Institute, Professor Seth Debrah, described nuclear as “Ghana’s next green baseload solution”. In a presentation on the provision of effective technical and scientific Support to Ghana’s Nuclear Power Programme during the workshop, he said NPG commenced the work required for implementation of Ghana’s nuclear power project following the decision to proceed with a new nuclear generation supply programme.
“Work will include all procurement and construction activities, under appropriate management arrangements; and will also involve regulatory oversight and approvals throughout the phases,” he stated.
According to him, the activities needed to prepare the infrastructure for nuclear power in Ghana can be split into three phases, with the duration of each dependent on the degree of commitment and resources applied in the country. These are: considerations before a decision to launch a nuclear power programme is taken; preparatory work for the contracting and construction of a nuclear power plant after a policy decision has been taken; and activities to implement the first nuclear power plant.
Technical and scientific support
Professor Debrah added that to ensure a successful implementation of the nuclear power project, there will be enhanced technical and scientific support activities including but not limited to plant safety, power generation performance and efficiency; maintainability and operability, reliability, functionality; availability and longevity of equipment and controls; and licencing support among others.
The Technical Controller at the Millennium Development Authority (MIDA) and former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Ghana Grid Company Limited (GRIDCo), said GRIDCo is ready to accommodate power produced by the nuclear power plant when it is fully operational.