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IAEA Reviews Kenya’s Nuclear Infrastructure Development for New Research Reactor Programme

Nairobi, Kenya

Kenya has made significant progress in the development of the national nuclear infrastructure for the country’s new research reactor programme, according to an International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) review mission.

An IAEA team of experts concluded a nine-day mission to review the preparations for a research reactor programme in Kenya. The Integrated Nuclear Infrastructure Review for Research Reactors (INIR-RR) was conducted at the invitation of the Kenyan Government, from 11 to 19 December 2023.

Mission team members reviewed the status of the country's nuclear infrastructure development in accordance with the Phase 1 criteria and conditions of the IAEA's Milestones Approach for research reactors.

Some countries embarking on a nuclear power programme, including Kenya, are pursuing the development of their first research reactor, which can serve as a stepping stone towards their future nuclear power programme. Kenya plans to commission its first research reactor between 2030 and 2034.

Recommendations and suggestions were provided by the IAEA team for the further development of the nuclear infrastructure for the new research reactor programme.

“Kenya has demonstrated a sustained and very professional approach to the development of its research reactor programme,” said Andrey Sitnikov, who led the IAEA review mission and is the Technical Lead of the IAEA Research Reactor Section. “We noted that before making the final decision, Kenya did a great job of developing and preparing laws and regulatory documents, actively involving interested stakeholders in the programme, and developing human resources of both the future operator and the regulator."

The INIR-RR review team comprised two experts from India and the United States of America, and six IAEA staff members.

About INIR-RR missions

INIR-RR missions are designed to assist countries in determining the status of their national nuclear infrastructure and to identify further development needs to support a new research reactor project. They follow the IAEA's Milestones Approach for research reactors, which provides guidance on the preparation of a research reactor project by addressing 19 issues, ranging from nuclear safety and security to the nuclear fuel cycle, waste management, and funding and financing.

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