ACEP cautions government over plans to build nuclear plant

Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah, Minister for Energy and Petroleum

Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah, Minister for Energy and Petroleum

The African Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP) is advising government not to go ahead with plans to build a nuclear plant.

Energy and Petroleum Minister, Emmanuel Armah Kofi Buah told Joy News that government is looking at constructing the plant for power generation by 2022.

According to him, the move has been necessitated by the country’s rising energy needs.

“We have to put in place a legal framework meeting all international standards. We have to work and to ensure that we have done a very extensive environmental impact. We have to work on the process of licensing and make sure we …meet all the international protocols…,” he explained.

The Energy and Petroleum minister added that the country’s quest to construct the nuclear plant is “for peaceful purposes to help grow our economy.”

He added that, “It is very clear that access to electricity is now a critical constraint that we will really prevent our country from getting to where we want to be,” considering the fact that the country has exhausted all its big rivers.

But ACEP’s Director of Research, John Peter Amewu has warned that, it is not advisable to go ahead with the proposal, considering the cost and risks associated with such plants.

Speaking to Joy News, he said, “[Considering] the fallout from Japan, we don’t think as an emerging country like Ghana we should begin to copy those examples when those countries are already going out from the nuclear practice.

“So we think that if that investment could be made available to address some of the problems that we have now, making the regulatory framework very feasible for investors to invest in exploration activities. There is reliable information of sufficient deposits of gas reserves in our offshore…”

John Peter Amewu advised that, if the country can invest in deeper exploration to make available fossil fuel, “we can use offal fuel to power our combine gas turbines that we have currently in the country and that is safer to us than going to nuclear.”

“We think nuclear is not the solution, the cost is so much, the risk in terms of the fallout we witnessed from Japan should not be something that a country like Ghana should copy,” he warned.