Ghana is committed to considering nuclear energy as a viable option in power generation and is putting the necessary measures in place to ensure the realization of that goal, the Minister for Energy and Petroleum, Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah, has said.
According to him, the increasing demand for power in the country called for accelerated measures to venture into nuclear power, adding that the time has come for critical consideration of this option.
The Minister said this when the Head of Africa section of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Dr. Dazhu Yang, as part of a working visit to Ghana, called on him at his office in Accra on Friday April 5, 2013.
He told Dr Yang to provide the necessary assistance to Ghana to realize the goals of her nuclear energy programme.
The IAEA Africa Head, on his part, pledged his support for Ghana in its quest to venture into that area, saying that if the country is to achieve higher middle income status, it needed cheap and clean energy to power its developing industries.
Dr Yang said the IAEA would provide technical support for countries which consider nuclear power as an option, adding that as a bona fide member of the IAEA, Ghana was qualified for technical assistance in that venture.
The Director-General of the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC), Professor Benjamin Jabez Botwe Nyarko, in a brief remark, said the development of a legal and regulatory framework, site assessment and determination, as well as the finalization of techno-economic assessment and financing process will begin this year as part of preparations towards the construction of the first Nuclear Power Plant in Ghana.
He said the Ghana Nuclear Power Programme Organization (GNPPO), was inaugurated in September last year forming part of the first milestones required by the IAEA.
He added that a Bill on the establishment of an autonomous regulatory body, another prerequisite for the operating a Nuclear Power Plant, has been sent to Parliament for approval.