We have ticked all safety boxes – Nuclear Energy regulator

Director General of the Nuclear Regulatory Authority, Dr. Nii Allotey

… Licensing programme being drawn

Director General of the Nuclear Regulatory Authority (NRA), Dr. Nii Allotey, has said his outfit is assiduously working on guidelines for the execution of the nation’s nuclear energy agenda, one that has taken into consideration all the predictable risks.

According to him, the guidelines are not only looking at best practices in the contemporary establishment and management of nuclear plants but also several studies to aid in getting regulations fit for the Ghanaian environment have been conducted.

Dr. Allotey made this known at an event for the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Ghana Nuclear Power Programme Organisation (GNPPO), Nuclear Power Ghana (NPG) and the Ghana Journalist Association (GJA) on the public dissemination of information and activities of Ghana Nuclear Power Programme and Project.

He said since the establishment of the NRA in 2017 after parliament passed its legal backing in 2015, the authority has pooled some of the best brains from the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC) who have and would continue to put together strict guidelines for the sector.

“Regulation is key in every endeavour but when it comes to nuclear it is very key. The authority is there to protect humans and the environment from the risk of radiation. Radiation has its risks and actually if you talk about the Nuclear Power Programme, and you say nuclear, everybody thinks about bombs and some dangerous or bad things would happen to us but actually the Nuclear Regulatory Authority is there to ensure that Ghanaians are safe and that the technology is used safely, securely and in a safe guarded manner, that is the purpose of the authority,” Dr. Allotey said.

He added that the nuclear sector is very keen on the three areas: safety, security and safeguards because they serve as the basis for everything.

“For nuclear safety, it involves the process ensuring that the technology is used in a safe manner. For nuclear security, we are there to ensure that, no person uses the materials in a malevolent way. For nuclear safeguards, the authority is to ensure that there is not any proliferation; that is, people taking the nuclear material and not accounting for it.”

He noted that the authority, even before, it started full operations had begun developing the competencies of staff and ensuring that they are well equipped for the regulatory function.

He also revealed that the NRA is developing a licensing documents which would guide the operation of the nation’s future nuclear plant. “What we are keen on is to draw up a licensing process which would focus on how the plant is going to be licensed and allowed to be built in Ghana.

The regulations must always be available so that the operator would know what to actually do from the onset. So, the regulatory body is working assiduously to ensure that all these processes are available to move the programme forward.”

He is optimistic that the addition of nuclear energy to the nation’s energy mix will make the energy sector more robust than ever.

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