Kenya – why would you look into nuclear power with your geothermal resources?

Kenya – why would you look into nuclear power with your geothermal resources? Pelindaba Nuclear Power Plant, North West, South Africa (source: flickr/ South African Tourism, creative commons)
Alexander Richter 19 Mar 2017

Despite large - to the most part still untapped - geothermal resources, Kenya is seeking to build up capacity for a nuclear power plant to feed its future enertyg mix.

Despite large untapped geothermal potential, Kenya is looking into nuclear power for its future power supply, as reported this week from the country.

The four countries of Russia, China, South Korea and Slovakia have signed an MOU that could see them in assisting Kenya to build up capacity for a nuclear power plant, estimated to cost Sh 500 billion ($4.8 billion) with a possible start of construction in 2022.

“We want to make sure that we have the right human resource capacity, public awareness and proper regulations to enable us smoothly adopt this energy source. That is why we are investing in informative studies and benchmarking to ensure that there is proper stakeholder engagements and extensive consultations in this field,” said Kenya Nuclear Electricity Board (KNEB) acting chief executive Collins Juma on Tuesday.

The agreement was signed during the opening of the Kenya Nuclear Energy Week and Conference at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre in Nairobi.

The summit, which concludes tomorrow, will see various stakeholders deliberate the country’s preparedness to venture into nuclear energy generation, the concerns, risks and benefits.

With large geothermal potential still untouched, it seems unclear why Kenya would seek to add nuclear power to its future power generation mix. With sourcing cost of necessary uranium and the unclear costs of waste disposal for the future, and the availability of geothermal energy make this an odd choice for the country. With an estimated $4.8 billion investment cost for the nuclear power plant, it is in cost also not cheaper – if not even more expensive – than geothermal power plants to be built.

Source: Business Daily Africa