Proceed cautiously with the nuclear option

In a bid to diversify sources of power generation, plans are said to be far advanced to adopt a nuclear option; and it is gratifying to learn that the country has passed all 19 infrastructural requirements to be considered for the commencement a nuclear power programme in the country, which is the first phase demanded by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Arguments have been advanced for a nuclear option to avert reoccurrence of the power crisis that assailed the country in the recent past. However, we daresay that the renewable energy alternative has not been exploited to the full since we have not met even half of the projected 10 percent of energy mix; and yet we are running for something that is highly capital intensive and requires strict monitoring to avert the disasters which such facilities are prone to with the slightest bit of negligence.

This Paper believes more effort should be expended in trying to increase the renewable energy alternative to, at least, achieve the target we set ourselves as a country – that is 10 percent of the energy mix by 2020.  We cannot meet this target now, since we are doing less than 2 percent currently; however, scaling-up to the intended target by the new deadline – which we believe is in 2030 (apologies if the timeline is wrong) – should be seriously pursued before embarking on such a sophisticated venture.

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Although we agree with the argument that nothing stops us pursuing all alternatives at the same time to ensure a lasting solution to our power generation woes, we believe a step by step graduation would be more appropriate.

However, in the melee to get it right, we are employing all manner of solutions – including nuclear – without ascertaining the safety implications and what they hold for a country that is still developing and is far from the league of advanced economies which have experimented with nuclear power.

France is contemplating phasing-out nuclear energy – and Germany is actively doing so – for more acceptable,safer sources of power….and we are thinking of taking up where they have left off because of safety considerations!!! Nuclear has been in the pipeline for some time, and we recall a German visitor to Ghana asking with great exasperation why a small, poor country like Ghana would want to go nuclear when Germany and other developed nations want to exit it. Food for thought!

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