Kenya to invest in Nuclear Energy

Kenya's to invest in Nuclear Energy

Kenya is in the process of developing their own nuclear energy. They predict that within 10-15 years, the country will have their own nuclear power plant.

According to Joseph Njoroge, principal secretary for electricity, Kenya will turn to nuclear energy as a last resort once they have exhausted all other forms of energy. Currently, the country depends mainly on hydropower, which counts for 35% of Kenya’s energy generation. The rest of the energy comes from geothermal, wind and heavy oil plants.

“It (nuclear plant construction) may be in the next 12 or even 15 years . . . the Kenya Nuclear Electricity Board is still a going concern and only working to prepare for nuclear,” he said. “That is after we have done a lot of exploitation of the geothermal, the coal that we also want to exploit, the wind, solar and all those,” he said. “At that time the only option we will have to get clean energy will be from nuclear.”

They had already begun development of a 1 050 MW coal-fired plant (funded by China) on the coast of Kenya, but construction had to be halted due to pushback and court action from environmental activists.

About nuclear power

Nuclear power generation is the harnessing of the energy created by a nuclear reaction. To produce electricity an energy source is needed to drive the huge turbines in a power station. In a nuclear power station, that energy comes from the splitting of atoms of uranium – a process known as fission. A benefit to nuclear energy is that it is relatively safe. Nuclear energy does not lead to carbon dioxide emissions and other ‘greenhouse’ gases that can damage the environment. It also produces small amounts of waste. A big disadvantage, and one of the main reasons for people being against nuclear energy, is the risk of a nuclear accident. Many cite Chernobyl and Fukushima as key reasons against nuclear energy. Another disadvantage is that it is incredibly expensive.

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