Following Backlash Against Coal Plant, Kenya Fast-Tracks Nuclear
July 29, 2019 (EIRNS)—In the wake of halting the planned 1050-MW coal powered electricity plant—after a mass environmentalist backlash—Kenya has opted to pursue the only reliable “renewable” power source: nuclear. Kenya’s Nuclear Power and Energy Agency (NuPEA) has now “fast-tracked” the development of a 1000-MW nuclear plant, moving forward the date for completion by nine years, to 2027.
With the China National Nuclear Corporation having been selected to do the initial feasibility studies, site selection has been focussed on three bodies of water as optimum locations: inland Lake Victoria (which also shares borders with Rwanda, a country with its own nuclear ambitions), Lake Turkana, and the Indian Ocean. After locations on each body have been generated, site selection is to be completed in two years.
At a cost of $5 billion, the project is expected to create about 5,000 new jobs throughout its construction. NuPEA has already overseen the training of 29 native operating engineers, in cooperation with universities in Korea, China, and Russia. When completed in 2027, the 1000 MW nuclear plant will represent a third of Kenya’s current power consumption (coming from hydro, geo-thermal, and solar sources), which is expected to grow to 16 GW by 2035. Although they haven’t advertised it, NuPEA apparently has three more plants in the planning stages, for a total nuclear generating capacity of 4000 MW.