Nuclear Power A Necessity for Africa’s Economic Growth

Nigeria and Ghana making nuclear power part of their future

A nuclear power plant

A nuclear power plant

March 12, 2021

It is essential that African nations advance their plans to build nuclear plants as part of their energy grid. That is why the efforts of Nigeria and Ghana should be hailed as progress for the continent. Africa`s Future Depends on Adopting Nuclear Power Generation

The lack of energy is killing more Africans that any other cause of death. My estimate is that the nations of Africa should acquire at least 1,000 gigawatts-1,000,000 megawatts-of electrical power to raise the standard of living of the populations to that of a modern industrialized society. Nuclear energy must be an increasing share of the continent’s energy generation.

Construction and operation of nuclear energy will also elevate the skill level of the domestic workforce. Nuclear energy complexes will serve as  training centers for skilled workers, engineers and scientists to operate a higher level of technology.

Energy is an indispensable element of the infrastructure platform that every nation requires to expand its economy. Energy poverty sustains poverty because electricity

Energy is vital for:

  1. industrialization
  2. manufacturing
  3. agricultural & agricultural processing
  4. transportation,
  5. schools
  6. hospitals
  7. vaccine production and distribution
  8. homes  
  9. elimination poverty & hunger

Let us encourage more African nations to expand their energy grid with nuclear power

Nigeria invites bids as it prepares to construct its first nuclear power plant, amid security concerns

Busineess Insider Africa

EMMANUEL ABARA BENSON March 2, 2022 10:41 AM

  • The nuclear power plant is projected to become Nigeria’s largest power plant and could potentially solve the country’s electricity challenges.
  • However, there are have been concerns about the country’s ability to manage a nuclear power plant, considering its peculiar security challenges.
  • Note that the bidding process is very critical to any nuclear power project, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency.

The Nigerian Government said it has commenced the bidding process in preparation for the construction of a 4000 megawatts nuclear power plant in the country.

The Director General of the Nigerian Nuclear Regulatory Agency, Dr Yau Idris, disclosed this while speaking during the Nigerian International Energy Summit in Abuja, yesterday. According to him, the nuclear power plant is projected to become Nigeria’s largest power plant, and could significantly improve the West African country’s power generation capacity.

Meanwhile, there have been concerns about Nigeria’s ability to manage a nuclear power plant, considering the delicate nature of such a project as well as the country’s peculiar security situation. Dr Idris addressed these concerns during his speech, stressing that it is wrong for anyone to assume that Nigeria’s is incapable of managing a nuclear project.

“There are mechanisms put in place that ensure any country can build a nuclear power plant. Nigeria is trying to deliver 4,000MW of electricity through nuclear power. We are trying to construct four units and we are at the bidding stage,” he was quoted by local media to have said.

It should be noted that the bidding process is very critical to any nuclear power project. A report by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IEAE) titled “Invitation and Evaluation of Bids for Nuclear Power Plants”, detailed the requirements and processes for ensuring a successful bid.

“The development of a nuclear programme is a major undertaking requiring attention to many complex and interrelated tasks over a long duration. One of them is the bidding process, which includes the development of bid invitations specifications, the evaluation of bids and the contracting with the successful bidder (contractor). The necessary infrastructure should be developed to the point of readiness for a bidding process to acquire a nuclear power plant (NPP). Therefore, the preparatory phase preceding the bidding process includes numerous activities, such as but not limited to, energy system planning, siting and feasibility studies, environmental impact assessment, development of nuclear related legislation, financing, organization of the regulatory authority, etc,” part of the report said.

Nigeria is a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency, and as such is required to strictly adhere to the requirements for bids. And ultimately, the goal is to ensure that the successful bidder (i.e., the winning contractor) has all it takes to enable the licensing, construction, commissioning and operation of a nuclear power plant.

https://africa.businessinsider.com/local/markets/nigeria-invites-bids-as-it-prepares-to-construct-its-first-nuclear-power-plant/tdn7nn2

Ghana looks to small modular reactor technology for nuclear deployment

ESI Africa

ByTheresa SmithMar 9, 2022

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[SERZ72] © 123RF.COM

The US and Ghana will partner under the Foundational Infrastructure for Responsible use of Small Modular Reactor Technology (FIRST) to support the West African country’s foray into the nuclear sector.

The FIRST programme, led by the US Department of State, will support Ghana’s adoption of small modular reactor (SMR) technology. This includes support for stakeholder engagement, advanced technical collaboration and project evaluation and planning. Japan has been a valuable partner with the US on the FIRST programme and will build on its existing partnership with Ghana to advance Ghana’s civil nuclear power aspirations.

Have you read?
US and Ghana sign memorandum with a focus on nuclear

Speaking at a virtual launch of the programme, US Ambassador Stephanie Sullivan said clean, reliable and safe nuclear energy could provide significant benefits to the people of Ghana, including clean energy, agricultural improvements, clean water and advanced medical treatment. “Next-generation nuclear energy, like what we’re working on today, must be part of the solution,” said Sullivan.

According to Ghana’s Minister of Energy Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh, the decision to include nuclear power in the nation’s energy mix has led to establishing Nuclear Power Ghana Limited as an Owner Operator and project developer. The FIRST Programme will help Ghana develop the competencies of the Nuclear Power Ghana Limited to build and operate safely Ghana’s first nuclear power plant.

From the archives
The drive for an African nuclear energy market

Drawing on 60 years of US experience working with nuclear energy, the FIRST programme provides capacity-building support to partner countries as they develop their nuclear energy programmes. To date, the US Department of State has announced $7.3 million to support FIRST projects around the world.

Professor Samuel Boakye Dampare, Director General of the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission the capacity building activities are meant to strengthen their national technical support organisation. “For us regulators, our success will be a very stringent, logical and transparent licensing regime that emphases safety throughout the lifetime of our future power plants(s), whether SMRs or larger reactors,” said Dampare.

Initial training in Ghana during 2022 will focus on stakeholder engagement, licensing and regulatory development, financing, workforce development and nuclear security, safety and non-proliferation.

https://lnkd.in/gKAH-teY

Lawrence Freeman is a Political-Economic Analyst for Africa, who has been involved in economic development policies for Africa for over 30 years. He is the creator of the blog: lawrencefreemanafricaandtheworld.com. Mr. Freeman’s stated personal mission is; to eliminate poverty and hunger in Africa by applying the scientific economic principles of Alexander Hamilton.

In the Next Decade, Nuclear Power for Africa Is A Necessity, Not An Option

Image credit: IAEA

12/28/2019

In the next decade, beginning on January 1, 2020, African nations must pursue nuclear energy. This is necessary to provide energy to the continent, which is suffering from a huge deficit in electricity, but nuclear technology has many additional benefits to African economies.  This includes creating large amounts of potable water. With nuclear power plants along the Mediterranean and Red Sea, the equivalent of a “second Nile River” from desalination through nuclear powered desalination would transform the nations of the Nile Basin. Constructing Small Modular Nuclear Reactors-SMRs (see below) in every African nation would be a important first step towards ending poverty and industrializing the continent.  Let me bluntly state: without abundant, low cost energy, Africa will not develop, and its people will suffer. Energizing Africa is not an option, it is a life and death necessity!

{Sustainable Times} published a valuable article on December 23, 2019: Can Nuclear Unlock Africa’s Development?

Excerpts:

“Combining renewables with nuclear power, however, makes the task of powering Africa’s growing economies more viable – not to mention the other useful and often overlooked aspects that nuclear can contribute to development. Although South Africa is the only country on the continent currently operating a nuclear power plant, the technology is being increasingly considered by African leaders. For example, works are set to begin on a new 4.8GW plant in El Dabaa Egypt next year, which is being developed by Russia’s Rosatom.

“Other countries including Ethiopia, Zambia, Nigeria and Ghana also have memorandums of understanding with Rosatom that pave the way for nuclear development. South Korea are also looking to invest in the continent’s energy industry, while Chinese nuclear firms have entered into agreements with Kenya, Sudan and Uganda. Energy is a key driver for development. In Ghana, for example, nuclear is seen as the obvious way to provide reliable energy for bauxite refineries which would increase jobs and export capacity.

Technology beyond electricity

“But nuclear technology provides more than just energy: many advanced nuclear designs produce high-temperature process heat for uses in desalination plants, chemical production and even district heating systems. These subsidiary features would allow nuclear technology to benefit society beyond the generation of electricity – and potentially accelerating its deployment.

“Nuclear technologies are already being used in agriculture, for example, where isotopes and radiation techniques are harnessed to combat pests and diseases or to increase livestock and crop production. For instance, farmers in Benin have increased their maize yields by 50 percent, while simultaneously reducing the amount of fertiliser used by 70 percent, thanks to the deployment of nuclear-derived nitrogen-fixation methods – the same techniques that are allowing Maasai farmers in Kenya to double vegetable crop yields with half the irrigation of traditional methods.

“By contrast, nuclear desalination could use the excess heat from new reactor designs like Small Modular Nuclear Reactors (SMRs) to produce thermal and electrical energy without emitting greenhouse gases, which then transforms seawater into freshwater. While capital costs for nuclear plants are initially high, fuel costs are low and stable: a doubling in the price of uranium would result in only a five percent increase in the total cost of energy generation. In contrast, an equivalent increase in oil would cause freshwater production costs to surge by 70 percent.”

 Read: Can Nuclear Unlock Africa’s Development?

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Progress for Small Modular Reactors

December 13, 2019—There’s some real good news for the U.S. economy today.  NuScale, an Oregon company that is developing a small modular nuclear reactor (SMR), has passed the next stage of review by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Progress for Small Nuclear Reactors

Cross-section of NuScale small modular reactor (world nuclear news)

As this blog has reported before, the mass development of nuclear power is a critical component to bringing the productivity of the U.S. economy out of the doldrums, and thus bringing us into a new era of prosperity.  High-speed rail, modernized water systems, the space program, and many other components of an economic recovery program depend upon generating huge amounts of electricity that are way beyond our current capacity.  Nuclear represents a leap in productivity that will allow us to get there, as well as a step on the way to the development of thermonuclear fusion.

NuScale’s design for an SMR has now gone through four phases of review. It still has to go through stages 5 and 6. According to the company’s press release, the Oregon-based company is partnering with the U.S. Department of Energy, as well as other companies. It has received support from Congress.

As I outlined in a post approximately one year ago, the promise of SMRs lies not only in their safety design, but in the fact that the United States still has the industrial capacity to produce them assembly-line fashion. Over the past 40 years, the heavy industrial capability for producing a standard-sized nuclear reactor (measured in hundreds of megawatts or over 1000) has been dismantled. But a small reactor of 12 to 50 megawatts could be produced in assembly-line fashion, and provide a flexible means of providing power outside major urban areas, including hard-to-reach regions.

The United States is not the only country working on SMRs, and some in the industry are seeking to motivate investment in NuScale on the basis of “beating the competition.”  Such peaceful competition has a huge positive payoff for the human race, and can only be encouraged. Thus NuScale’s progress with the NRC is most welcome news.

The NuScale press release can be read in full here.