Kenya to Host Second US-Africa Nuclear Forum Amidst Growing Energy Ambitions


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Kenya is set to host the second US-Africa nuclear forum this August, marking a significant step towards its goal of generating electricity from nuclear power.

The forum will bring together top officials from the US nuclear energy sector to provide insights into the technology and explore potential engagement agreements, as more African nations look to embrace nuclear energy.

Kenya has identified Kilifi, located on the coast, as the preferred site for its first nuclear power plant, with Kwale as an alternative location.

The Nuclear Power and Energy Agency (Nupea), responsible for overseeing the technology’s implementation, is currently engaging with residents of Kilifi County to raise awareness and prepare for the plant’s construction.

“Kenya will use this forum to make a significant announcement regarding our nuclear power program,” Justus Wabuyabo, Chief Executive Officer of Nupea, told this publication. “This falls under what we call political commitment, where top leadership will assure technology providers working with nuclear technology.”

Currently, South Africa is the only African nation generating electricity from a nuclear power plant. Egypt is also constructing nuclear plants with a combined capacity of 4,400 megawatts (MWe). Kenya and Ghana are both in the race to establish their nuclear power facilities.

Kenya aims to begin construction of its nuclear power plant in 2027 and to commission it by 2034. However, the project faces several challenges, including raising awareness and gaining acceptance among Kilifi residents, as well as securing funding for the plant.

The upcoming summit provides the US with an opportunity to deepen its involvement in African countries interested in nuclear energy. Approximately 18 per cent of the electricity in the US is generated from nuclear power plants, positioning it as one of the leading users of the technology.

Key speakers at the forum will include Andrew Worral, director of Nuclear Energy Programs at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and DeLeah Lockridge, group leader for Nuclear Operations and Licensing at the same institution. Oak Ridge National Laboratory, part of the US Department of Energy, conducts research and offers policy insights on nuclear energy.

This forum is expected to play a crucial role in advancing Kenya’s nuclear energy ambitions, offering valuable insights and fostering international collaborations essential for the successful implementation of its nuclear power program.

For further updates and information, stakeholders and interested parties are encouraged to follow the developments closely through official communications from the Nuclear Power and Energy Agency and the Ministry of Energy.

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