THE Ghana Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC) has held a roundtable discussion among stakeholders to fashion out a regulatory framework for the development of a nuclear energy programme in the country.
The discussions focused on a draft Nuclear Regulatory Authority Bill aimed at establishing the relevant infrastructure for a nuclear energy programme and radiation protection in Ghana.
In addition, the meeting, attended by experts from the GAEC, Food and Drugs Board, Environmental Protection Agency, Korle-Bu and Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospitals, the security agencies and Members of the Parliamentary Committee on Health and Science, analysed safety, security and environmental factors in the development of a nuclear programme.
Professor John H. Amuasi, Dean of the School of Nuclear and Allied Sciences, who chaired the opening session, stressed the importance of a legal framework for a national nuclear programme, saying, nuclear energy and radiation protection infrastructure is key to agricultural and industrial growth. He said the country would have to address a variety of infrastructural areas in the development of a nuclear programme, including facilities like transportation and grid systems to carry nuclear suppliers, financial investments, human resource capacity building and implementation of and compliance with international legal instruments.
Dr. Yaw Serfor-Armah, Deputy Director-General of the GAEC, in his welcome address, said that nuclear regulatory authorities exist to ensure that nuclear activities were undertaken safely and securely for the protection of the public and the environment.
Ghana, he said, faces the challenge on how to pursue the renewed interest in the use of nuclear energy for electricity generation in a secure manner, and the use of radioactive materials for technological advancement.
'The establishment of the Nuclear Regulatory Authority will not be the full solution to the problem, but it will be a definite step in the right direction,' he assured.