Nuclear Energy Development in Kenya Faces Many Challenges

From Business Daily Africa

Recent activities have demonstrated, with no doubt, that the Kenyan government is committed to include nuclear power as part of its energy mix. This is encouraging news especially when the country keeps on experiencing chronic power outages.

However, as expected, any mention of nuclear power brings heated debate; and it has. Many of those opposed to nuclear never miss a chance to remind the world that nuclear has had three major incidents; Three Mile Island, Chernobyl and recently Fukushima.

While nuclear industry is generally safe, there are unique challenges facing each country with nuclear power plants or those intending to install them. Kenya being at the start of her nuclear programme will be no exception. There are a number of fundamental challenges that this country faces.

The biggest challenge for Kenya to overcome is financing. United Arab Emirates (UAE) is currently building four reactors at a cost of $20billion. A few months ago, the government of that country signed a loan worth $2billion for the first reactor with US-Exim Bank. The rest will be covered by the UAE government and a number of Korean venture capital firms.

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