Industries are calling for nuclear power

Industries in major sectors of the Ghanaian economy are calling for the inclusion of nuclear power as an alternative source of electricity in the country’s energy mix to support industrial growth and national development.

About 75 per cent of firms from manufacturing, agriculture health, energy, and mining sector said that they were willing to upgrade their capacity to be able to take part in Ghana’s nuclear agenda.

This was found in a baseline nationwide social and economic survey on generating electricity using nuclear technology by the Institute of Statistical Social and Economic Research (ISSER).

The firms were also interested in providing their services to advance the nuclear power agenda in terms of the supply of building materials, electrical installation services as well as civil construction and installation services.

Speaking at the presentation of the findings of the survey in Accra on Tuesday, Dr Simon Bawakyillnuo, ISSER, noted that the introduction of alternative sources of energy into Ghana’s energy mix was the main priority of industries.

He noted that industries wanted the Government to make alternative sources of electricity, including nuclear power as a major priority in the consideration of Ghana’s energy policy in addressing the country’s power sector challenges.

Meanwhile, the study noted that there was the need for the Government and other agencies connected to the country’s nuclear power project to intensify public education and sensitisation.

The education should be on the safety of operating a nuclear power plant, the use of nuclear technology to generate electricity, as well as the adverse effects of nuclear power and its remedies.

Professor Peter Quartey, the Director of ISSER, the told the Ghana News Agency on the sidelines of the presentation of the report that the call by industries for the inclusion of nuclear power into the country’s energy was prudent.

He explained that the call meant that industries needed more sustainable and affordable sources of energy in the country’s energy mix because relying on hydro and thermal would not be able to meet their requirements.

“You realise that in Ghana, industries pay more than individual consumers, the reverse is what happens in other countries. The cost is high for businesses and the supply interruptions. So, when we get more supply of energy at affordable cost that is good for industries,” he said.

Prof Seth Kofi Debrah, Director, Nuclear Power Institute (NPI), said that the willingness of industry to support the country’s nuclear power agenda, “gives us the positive drive that we’re not in this alone.”

He, however, said that: “We need to get the population along; the fact that we’ve over 60 per cent (from industry and the public) saying we should go nuclear doesn’t mean we should just jump in.”

Prof Debrah added that: “We still must do due diligence according to the International Atomic Energy Agency and make sure that the population is behind us. But we need to get our people to understand that there are opportunities out there that we’ve not tapped into, and these opportunities can be presented by the nuclear power plant.”

Ghana’s nuclear power project is aimed at establishing the country’s first nuclear power plant by 2030 to provide a base-load electricity option that is resilient, secure and sustainable.

Source: GNA

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