An International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) team of experts has concluded an 8-day mission to review infrastructure development for a new 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 stated that the country had made significant progress in its preparations to make a knowledgeable decision about introducing nuclear power. The INIR team also made recommendations and suggestions aimed at assisting Kenya in the further development of its nuclear infrastructure.
Africa's ninth largest economy and with a population of 40 million people, Kenya is considering the introduction of nuclear power to 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 preparatory activities towards the development and implementation of the country’s 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 the INIR mission team leader, Mr. 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—stated that Kenya had made notable progress in key areas, such as capacity building, stakeholder involvement and reviewing infrastructure requirements in a comprehensive manner.
The mission, which began on 24 August, also highlighted areas where further action is required, including the establishment of key goals and requirements to guide the nuclear power programme and the necessary legal and regulatory framework.
Welcoming the team’s findings, Mr Ochilo Ayacko, Executive Chairman and CEO of KNEB, said: "We are delighted with the recommendations made by the IAEA. 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 toward 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.