The National Assembly Committee on Energy, Radiation Protection Board (RPB) and Nuclear Power and Energy Agency (NuPEA) have sought to allay fears concerning the safety of the proposed nuclear power electricity generation project in Kenya.
Speaking on Wednesday in Thika during a public hearing aimed at collecting the residents' input on the Nuclear Regulatory Bill, 2018 the Energy Committee Chairman David Gikaria (Nakuru Town East MP) said the bill seeks to provide for a comprehensive regulatory framework for nuclear power safety and security.
Gikaria added that the main objective of the forum attended by various stakeholders who included members of the Thika District Business Association (TDBA), was to increase public awareness about nuclear energy with an ultimate goal of gaining public acceptance and goodwill for the same.
“We want people to understand some key aspects of nuclear power development and clear the myths where people associated nuclear to explosives and something that could bring calamity. The future of energy is in nuclear and time has come for Kenya to go nuclear if we need to generate more employment opportunities,” said Gikaria.
He added that Kenya intends to build a 1000MW nuclear power plant aimed at reducing the country's electricity deficit. Kenya currently generates 2,300MW out of projected 16,000MW from green energy sources like water, sun, wind and geothermal.
Speaking at the same event, Radiation Protection Board CEO Joseph Maina said that Kenya had put up solid nuclear safeguards to ensure nuclear materials and waste are properly accounted for.
“Kenya has made great strides to enhance a legal framework to ensure nuclear systems, security and safeguards including the management of radioactive wastes and spent fuel is adhered to,” said Maina.
The Sh500 billion plant set to be completed by 2027 is proposed to be built along Lake Victoria, Lake Turkana or at the Coast region where water to be used by the plant is adequately available.
Other Energy Committee members who attended the forum include among others MPs Muturi Kigano (Kangema), Faith Gitau (Nyandarua Women Rep) and Vincent Musyoka (Mwala).
Thika Town MP Patrick Wainaina was represented by his personal assistant.