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IAEA Reviews Kenya’s Nuclear Power Infrastructure Development


Ochilo Ayacko, Executive Chairman and CEO of the Kenya Nuclear Electricity Board, speaking in Nairobi at the opening session of the INIR Mission, attended by Kenyan and IAEA officials on 24 August 2015. (Photo: M. Van Sickle/IAEA)

An International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) team of experts has concluded an 8-day mission to review infrastructure development for a nuclear power programme in Kenya. The Integrated Nuclear Infrastructure Review (INIR) was carried at the invitation of the Kenyan Government.

The INIR team, in its final meeting with the Government of Kenya on 31 August, said the country had made significant progress in preparing to make decisions related to the introduction of nuclear power. The INIR team also made recommendations and suggestions aimed at assisting Kenya in the further development of its nuclear infrastructure.

Kenya, which has Africa's ninth-largest economy and a population of some 44 million people, is considering the introduction of nuclear power to help meet its growing energy demand. The Kenyan Ministry of Energy and Petroleum has proposed the potential use of nuclear energy for power generation and established the Kenya Nuclear Electricity Board (KNEB) to undertake preparations towards developing and implementing a nuclear power programme.

“Kenya has given thorough consideration to the infrastructure that will be necessary should the country decide to proceed with the development of a national nuclear power programme,” said mission team leader Jose Bastos of the IAEA’s Nuclear Infrastructure Development Section.

The 10-person INIR team—comprising experts from South Africa, Spain and the United Kingdom as well as IAEA staff—identified progress in some areas:

  • Capacity building and stakeholder involvement.
  • Reviewing infrastructure requirements in a comprehensive manner.

The mission, which began on 24 August, also highlighted areas where further action is required, including:

  • Establishing key goals and requirements to guide the nuclear power programme.
  • Setting up the necessary legal and regulatory framework.

Welcoming the team’s findings, Ochilo Ayacko, Executive Chairman and CEO of KNEB, said: “Kenya is committed to a successful nuclear power programme with the aim of providing affordable, reliable, competitive and safe electricity. This gives us the impetus to proceed towards the next stages and gives the government a good framework of the actions and issues requiring further development.”

About INIR Missions:

Integrated Nuclear Infrastructure Review missions enable IAEA Member State representatives to have in-depth discussions with international experts about experiences and best practices in different countries. In developing its recommendations, the INIR team takes into account the comments made by the relevant national organizations. Implementation of any of the team's recommendations is at the discretion of the Member State requesting the mission. The results of the INIR mission are expected to help the Member State to develop an action plan to fill any gaps, which in turn will help the development of the national nuclear infrastructure.

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