Kenya Identifies Locations for Setting Up Nuclear Energy Generation Plants

Kenya Nuclear Electricity Board (KNEB) has sent out an international bid for organisations and companies to develop site characterisation of sites it intends to build nuclear sites.

Site characterization is the process of developing an understanding of the geologic, hydrologic and engineering properties at the site including the soil, rock, along with groundwater and in many cases, man-modified conditions in the subsurface (e.g. utilities, structures, mines and tunnels) that can impact site conditions. It also includes the spatial and temporal assessment of contaminants when they are present.

Through an announcement in their website, KNEB notes that it has already identified several sites where the nuclear electricity sites will be located and is seeking a company that will be able to identify the suitability of such sites against natural distaters, human activity and general security.

"KNEB's primary function is to promote and expedite the development of nuclear electricity in Kenya. One of the functions of the board is to identify appropriate sites in Kenya for the construction of nuclear power plants and related amenities. The Board has already identified potential sites for Nuclear Power Plants in Kenya and is moving to the next stage of site characterization. "

The consultancy team is expected to comprise a multidisciplinary team of experts who have expertize in, but not limited to: Earth Sciences, Civil/Geotechnical/Nuclear engineers, Environmental specialists and Meteology experts registered by the relevant accredited professional bodies.

Consultants may constitute joint ventures to enhance their chances of qualification, the report notes.

KNEB is continually engaging stakeholders on nuclear energy as the country gears towards commissioning its first nuclear power plant in 2027. Some of these partners included Russia's ROSTAOM, China CGN, ATKINS, Korea's KEPCO who demonstrated their experience in the safe management of nuclear power plants in order to boost the confidence building and awareness creation on the subject.

The Ministry of Energy and Petroleum, in November 2011, initiated a Pre-Feasibility Study (PFS) for Kenya's Nuclear Power Programme, which was an initial commitment by Government towards implementation of a Nuclear Programme in the country. The completion of this PFS marks a critical milestone for our nation towards the inclusion of nuclear electricity in the country's energy mix.

The parliamentary Energy Committe earlier in the year visited the AtomeXp nuclear energy conference in Sochi, Russia, where they were enlightened on the safer use of the technology.

"We have been educated on nuclear issues. The myth that we had heard about nuclear that is explosive and can bring calamity to our country is now clear to us," Kajiado North MP and head of delegation, Joseph Manje was quoted saying.

Nuclear power is the safest source of energy and is available when needed, he added. "We have also seen how big players like Russian State Atomic Energy Corporation are controlling this kind of power in the world and when we go back home, we will come up with structures that govern this issue," said Mr Manje.

According to the ministry of Energy, by 2030 Kenya is slated to have installed a capacity of 4 GW of nuclear energy, generating about 19% of Kenya's energy needs. Meaning that nuclear power would be the second largest source of energy in Kenya coming second after geothermal power which is a clean form of energy.

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