By Standard Digital Reporter
NAIROBI, KENYA: A team of nuclear scientists have been dispatched to Korea for capacity building in an attempt to increase power generation from alternative sources.
Kenya is looking into Nuclear Energy sources to boost its electricity generation capacity to over 19,000 MW by the year 2030.
”As part of the master plan to increase Kenya’s installed electricity capacity over the next two decades, we have dispatched eleven scientists to undertake postgraduate studies in Nuclear Science at the Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) training school,” said Mugo Kibati Vision 2030 Delivery Secretariat, Director General.
The students will undertake studies in various Nuclear Power Production (NPP) disciplines as part of a bilateral co-operation agreement between Kenya and Korea.
Kibati says that in tandem with the training programs, Kenya’s plan to engage in nuclear electricity Production is well on course under the direction of the Kenya Nuclear Electricity Board.
The eleven postgraduate students enrolled this year, Kibati disclosed, will pursue a comprehensive two-year Masters Degree programme in Nuclear Engineering. Upon graduation, the Nuclear Scientists will play a key role in laying the groundwork for Kenya’s nuclear electricity generation plans over the next two decades as envisaged in the Vision 2030 National Development policy.
Besides the 2013 class comprising of eleven students, a further six students drawn from the Kenya Nuclear Electricity Board, Kenya Power and Lighting Company and Kenya’s Radiation Protection Board admitted last year are now concluding their two year Masters Studies in power generation, power transmission, and radiation safety.
The integration of a nuclear electricity generation plant in Kenya is part of continental effort by more than 12 African governments to facilitate the diversification of power generation.
KNEB Executive Chairman Hon. Ochilo Ayacko says that it is within the mandate of the organisation to build the capacity and human resource skills of Kenyans in this specialized field.
“We are using local and international resources to enable Kenyans to be trained to an adequate level of competency to run all aspects of the Nuclear Power Programme.”
Ayacko says that a nuclear power programme has three key facets: a Nuclear Electricity Programme Implementing Organisation (NEPIO) - which is the role KNEB is performing, a regulator who will ensure application of nuclear technology is done safely with safeguards for human life and property. The third arm is the operator, which is the body that will run the nuclear power plant.
“All these organisations require highly skilled manpower, conscious of safety, security and safeguards requirements as per the International Atomic Energy Agency’s guidelines,” Ayacko said.
The net benefit of the increased power generation capacity will be a more competitive country, which is able to attract foreign investors, stimulate growth of the manufacturing sector, and ensure energy security and ultimately the achievement of the Vision 2030 flagship projects.