KNRA chairman Omondi Anyanga with Excel Services Corporation CEO Donald Hoffman in Nairobi on July 19, 2023. [Courtesy]

Kenya is keen on strategic partnerships as it seeks to expand its nuclear programmes, including building enough regulatory safeguards.

The country hopes to have a nuclear power plant by 2038 to plug gaps in power demand.

Geothermal and hydropower energy are Kenya's primary sources of electricity.

On Wednesday, representatives of the Kenya Nuclear Regulatory Authority (KNRA) and US-based Excel Service Corporation hammered out a working formula.

The meeting in Nairobi birthed the possibility of Kenya receiving support from the US State Department for training and improving procedures and programmes.

KNRA Chairman Omondi Anyanga and Director General James Keter hosted Donald Hoffman, the chief executive of Excel.

Mr Hoffman said Excel would work with Kenya and other regulators in the region.

Excel Services Corporation, based in Maryland, supports nuclear energy producers to enhance safety and security.

The firm has expertise in feasibility studies, site selection, and environmental assessment, among other areas.

Kenya's partnership with Excel comes in the wake of a memorandum of understanding with the US signed under the framework of the Foundational Infrastructure for Responsible Use of Small Modular Reactor Technology (FIRST Project). The initiative originates from US President Joe Biden's 2021 Leaders' Summit on Climate.

"We help countries learn from what was good or what was bad and then get to make things better. It is key to learn from what other countries did or didn't do and how they succeeded or failed," Mr Hoffman said.

Anyanga described the meeting as a "breakthrough" for the authority, saying Kenya is open to learning from industry leaders.

"Your partnership with us is timely. We will work closely and are ready to sign all requisite documentation so that we can hit the roads running," he said.

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