The Star (Nairobi)

26 February 2014

Kenya Should Push Ahead With Nuclear

editorial

KENYA is planning to instal a 1,000 MW nuclear power station by 2025.

Energy secretary Davis Chirchir said that government would prefer a public-private partnership for the power station that will be situated at the Coast or at Lake Victoria.

There is a lot of scepticism about the prospect of nuclear power in Kenya. There are very few, if any, nuclear engineers in East Africa. There are concerns over safety. If there was a leak at the Coast, it would be catastrophic for the tourism industry.

Nevertheless Kenya needs nuclear energy. If we could look 50 years into the future, we would probably see Kenya operating on a mix of geothermal, wind and nuclear power.

Fossil fired fuel stations are far more polluting than nuclear power which makes no carbon emissions. Nuclear power is clean, apart from the difficulty of storing toxic waste with a half-life of thousands of years.

Nuclear power is also relatively safe. Less than 100 people died after the worst nuclear accident in history at Chernobyl in 1986. Far more coal miners that that die in accidents each year.

Kenya should push ahead with its nuclear plans, but a more realistic start date would be 2035.

Quote of the day: "Success is having to worry about every damn thing in the world, except money." - American country singer Johnny Cash was born on February 26, 1932.

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