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18.04.2007 General News

Government yet to declare for nuclear energy

By myjoyonline

The Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mr Kwamena Bartels has stated categorically that cabinet has not taken any decision in respect of the nuclear energy option for the country.

According to the Minister, Cabinet would take a definitive decision on the nuclear energy option after Prof. Adzei Bekoe Committee set up by President Kufuor presents its report.

Mr. Bartels was reacting to media reports that the government has decided to opt for nuclear energy as one of the ways of finding a lasting solution to the energy needs of the country.

On his part the Chairman of the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission, Professor D. A. Bekoe said nuclear power has been used safely and efficiently for about 50 years now, adding that the nuclear technology is a sophisticated technology which requires corresponding sophisticated infrastructure.

According to him, Ghana has such infrastructure in place whilst the rest could systematically be put in place within a maximum of two years.

He said Ghana already has in place policies relating to security, legal and regulatory framework among others.

Prof. Bekoe said from the experience of the decades of operation of nuclear power plants, it has been found necessary to develop effective national policies and legislations among other objectives.

He indicated that the safety of operators and the environment as well as the general population are assured, saying that they are protected from radiation and radioactive materials, including nuclear waste.

He said there was no doubt that nuclear energy was an alternative source of power generation from oil or hydroelectric dams which dominate our power scene in Ghana.

Speaking on the International Atomic Energy Agency, the chairman of GAEC said the agency was established about 50 years ago to promote the use of nuclear energy for the solution of many of the problems of development.

To Professor Bekoe, it has been clear overtime that the use of nuclear energy has a much wider range of application than the generation of electricity.

He said there have been more nuclear power stations built since then, arguing that about sixteen percent of the world's electricity generation was from nuclear.

He said if Ghana had fully utilised her hydro and thermal capacities, the country would not have been in crisis.

Professor Bekoe said it was unfortunate that we could not guarantee that our dams would have enough water or that oil and gas would be readily available.

“Unless we have other sources of power available, our power security will rain suspect and subject to the occasional crisis, such as we have now,” he observed.

Credit: The Point

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