Kenya to Start Building Nuclear Power Plant in 2027, Aiming for Zero-Carbon Energy

Kenya plans to start building its first nuclear power plant in 2027, aiming to diversify its energy generation and reduce reliance on dirty thermal plants, according to The East African. The plant is expected to have a capacity of 1,000 megawatts (MW) and be commissioned by 2034-2035.

Acting CEO of the Nuclear Power and Energy Agency (NuPEA) Justus Wabuyabo told the Business Daily the agency has advanced plans to float international tenders for the construction of the in either Kilifi or Kwale counties.

The Nuclear Power and Energy Agency (NuPEA) is considering two sites for the plant, Kilifi and Kwale counties, both located on the coast. The final site will be determined after a detailed scientific study, including seismic tests.

The need for a nuclear power plant stems from Kenya’s projected increase in electricity demand as the country angles to be a middle-income economy by 2030. Geothermal energy is currently the biggest source of electricity in Kenya, accounting for 45.21 percent, followed by hydro (21.05 percent), wind (16.08 percent), and solar (3.92 percent).

However, a nuclear power plant is a costly undertaking, and Kenya will also need to upgrade its electricity transmission network to provide reliable and off-site power to the plant. A joint study by NuPEA and SGS consortium found that the current electricity grid will require significant enhancement based on safety needs and the large size of nuclear power plants.

South Africa is the only African country with a commercial nuclear plant, which accounts for five percent of the electricity generated in the country. Nuclear accounts for 47 percent of electricity generated in the United States.

Kenya has been sending dozens of students abroad to developed countries using nuclear energy to boost their skill sets and ensure that the country does not wholly import the labor needed to operate and maintain the new plant.

Nuclear power is a low-carbon source of energy, meaning that it produces relatively few greenhouse gases. This is important for Kenya as it seeks to reduce its carbon footprint and contribute to the global fight against climate change.

Nuclear power plants are also reliable and can operate 24/7, regardless of weather conditions. This can help to ensure that Kenya has a steady supply of electricity to meet its growing needs. However, nuclear power plants can be expensive to build and operate. They also produce radioactive waste, which must be carefully managed and disposed of. Overall, the decision to build a nuclear power plant is a complex one that must be made on a case-by-case basis, taking into account the specific needs and circumstances of each country.

Kenya’s decision to build a nuclear power plant is a significant step in its development. It is important to weigh the pros and cons carefully and to ensure that the plant is built and operated safely and responsibly

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