Four countries have signed memoranda of understanding with Kenya to support plans to establish a commercial nuclear power programme, Kenya Nuclear Electricity Board (KNEB) acting chief executive Collins Juma told the Kenya Nuclear Energy Week and Conference in Nairobi on 14 March.
Juma said Russia, China, South Korea and Slovakia have all signed agreements that will see them help Kenya “build capacity” to begin construction of its first nuclear plant around 2022. “We want to make sure that we have the right human resource capacity, public awareness and proper regulations to enable us smoothly adopt this energy source. That is why we are investing in informative studies and benchmarking to ensure that there is proper stakeholder engagements and extensive consultations in this field,” he noted.
France is also reportedly looking to offer Kenya technical, engineering and financial support for nuclear construction. The Kenya Nuclear Electricity Board is planning at least four reactors with a total output of around 4000MWe, the allAfrica website said. According to Business Daily, Kenya has identified possible sites for nuclear plants including towns bordering Lake Turkana in northern Kenya, the Indian Ocean and Lake Victoria in western Kenya.
The conference, which was held at the Kenya International Conference Centre in Nairobi, was attended by the representatives of Nigeria and Ghana, the Inernational Atomic Energy Agency, members of the Kenya National Assembly, representatives of ministries and the Kenyan Council on nuclear energy, as well as international specialists. A delegation of representatives from Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom attended the conference and accompanying exhibition to showcase Russian reactor designs and comprehensive support for the development of nuclear energy in developing countries.
On May 30, 2016, Rosatom signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Kenya to promote nuclear solutions, assist in training personnel, create public awareness, and design agriculture and medical solutions. Rosatom regional vice president for Sub-Saharan Africa Viktor Polikarpov said Rosatom was ready to support Kenya to construct NPPs on a build–operate–transfer module or through a private-public-partnership consortium. Rosatom said it would provide a loan through an intergovernmental agreement, with a repayment period of up to 25 years.
"We offer foreign students and young professionals a wide range of opportunities to obtain relevant knowledge in various fields of science. At the moment we have the ability to send 60 African students to obtain a bachelor's degree in fields related to the nuclear industry, one of our most modern educational institutions free of charge " Polikarpov said.