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Kenya cannot afford the costs of nuclear electricity, and the attendant human cost

Kenya’s nuclear energy plan is a very bad idea, Standard Media, By MWAKIO TOLE | August 26th 2020  It appears that Kenya is determined to build a nuclear power plant despite reservations expressed against this project over the years by many concerned Kenyans.

The building of the nuclear electric power plant appears to be driven by factors other than the national interest. A cursory examination of economic, environmental and safety issues militates against the nuclear electricity option.

Kenya plans to build a 1,000 MWe nuclear power plant at a cost of US$5 billion. The National Environment Management Authority has requested for comments on a Strategic Environmental and Social Assessment Report for the Nuclear Power Programme for Kenya.

An expenditure of $5 billion for a 1,000 MWe power plant is a poor economic investment. Solar energy power plants can be built at much lower costs. For example, the Sweihan Power plant in Abu Dhabi, the UAE with an installed capacity of 1,177 MWe cost US$870 million; the Kurnool Solar Park plant in India delivers 1,000 MWe at a cost of US$1 billion. Right from the outset, the cost of constructing a solar power plant has an economic head start over a nuclear power plant. The planned expenditure of $5 billion by Kenya could get us more than 5,000 MWe from solar power plants, instead of 1,000 MWe.

Operational costs for solar plants will be cheaper in terms of fuel, personnel and plant maintenance costs.

The amount of money spent so far in budgetary allocations to the Kenya Nuclear Electricity Board, and its successor, the Nuclear Power Energy Agency for salaries, training, and operations, is money that could have been used to build solar or wind energy plants in Kenya, or to further develop the abundant geothermal resources in the country.

Aside from economic arguments, there are numerous environmental and safety concerns. Radioactive waste that is generated at a nuclear power plant will be around for more than 300,000 years, and some of the radionuclides will be around for millions of years. The problem of radioactive waste disposal has not been conclusively resolved anywhere in the world. …….

Many countries around the world are shutting down their nuclear power plants. It is not inconceivable that Kenya will be sold second hand components of the power plants being dismantled around the world.

Kenya cannot afford the costs of nuclear electricity, and the attendant human cost……..

August 29, 2020 - Posted by | Kenya, politics

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