An International Atomic Energy Agency Integrated Nuclear Infrastructure Review (INIR) follow-up mission, which completed its review on 24 October, said Ghana has made progress in implementing the recommendations of the 2017 mission. 

The 2017 review had made 12 recommendations and eight suggestions to progress Ghana’s infrastructure development and the follow-up team concluded that eight of the recommendations and six of the suggestions had been completed. The remaining four recommendations require further attention and action.

The team said Ghana has

  • completed the studies needed for the government to be able to make a knowledgeable commitment to a nuclear power programme; 
  • completed its assessment of the adequacy of its national legal framework and has made plans to proceed with the necessary amendments;
  • begun preparing itself for Phase 2 activities including discussions with vendors and other potential partners.
  • Further work is needed in areas such as government funding, stakeholder involvement planning, fuel cycle options for the first nuclear power plant and goals for local participation. 

“The main preparatory work needed for the government to be able to commit to going forward with the nuclear power programme has been done. What remains is further consideration of certain options to ensure Ghana is well prepared for discussions with vendors and other potential partners.” said team leader Anthony Stott, Operational Lead of the IAEA’s Nuclear Infrastructure Development Section.

Ghana is considering adding nuclear power its energy mix to enhance economic development and provide a stable and affordable supply of electricity. The Government established the Ghana Nuclear Power Programme Organization (GNPPO) to coordinate all preparatory activities related to the development of the nuclear power programme. In 2018, the Presidential cabinet approved the setting up of “Nuclear Power Ghana” to oversee the construction and operation of the country’s first nuclear power plant.

Ghana’s Deputy Minister of Energy and Chairman of the GNPPO William Owuraku Aidoo emphasised that his country has stayed committed to the nuclear power programme and has been working to implement the recommendations made by the first mission in 2017. “The energy forecast in the medium to long term requires [an] alternative source like nuclear power to diversify our energy supply base and to enhance energy security to achieve the industrialisation agenda. Nuclear power is expected to play a key role in fulfilling the aims and objectives of our country’s development plan.”

“Like other countries that operate nuclear research reactors, we already had people with the right nuclear mindset and orientation. Scaling it up to meet the high standards and requirements of a nuclear power plant is a huge task, and we have demonstrated that we are up to the task,” noted Benjamin JB Nyarko, Director-General of the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission and Deputy Chairman of the GNPPO.