China and Kenya sign nuclear cooperation agreements

26 March 2017

China General Nuclear Power Corporation (CGN) has signed a nuclear power training cooperation framework agreement and a bilateral confidentiality agreement with the Kenya Nuclear Electricity Board (KNEB), CGN said in a 21 March statement.

CGN and KNEB also reached a consensus over student training agreement. The agreements lay the foundation for further technology and commercial nuclear cooperation between the two parties, CGN said. CGN will provide professional training to Kenya on China’s indigenous  Hualong One  reactor design. The two parties will also cooperate and share information on the development of nuclear technology.

The Kenyan government plans to build four 1000MWe nuclear power units in four phases before 2030. Cooperation between CGN and KNEB began in 2012 when a Kenyan delegation conducted field visits to China. In May 2015, a CGN delegation visited Kenya and the two sides agreed to develop their nuclear power cooperation.

The country's National Economic and Social Council recommended in 2010 that Kenya should start using nuclear power by 2020 to meet its growing electricity demand, and the Ministry of Energy established a nuclear electricity project committee, which subsequently became KNEB. The board is mandated with fast-tracking the development of nuclear electricity generation in Kenya with a mission to promote "safe and secure application of nuclear technology" for sustainable electricity generation and distribution.

In September 2015 an International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Integrated Nuclear Infrastructure Review (INIR) mission  concluded that Kenya had made significant progress in its preparations to develop a nuclear power infrastructure. An IAEA Integrated Regulatory Review Service (IRRS) team last year praised a training initiative by the Radiation Protection Board for its inspectors in enforcement of the law, but noted that Kenya faces significant challenges regarding its yet-to-be completed regulatory framework.



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