Nuclear Energy in Ghana

Nuclear reprocessing plant. Image: Getty, Steve Allen
Nuclear reprocessing plant. Image: Getty, Steve Allen

Ghana’s emerging nuclear power programme is the culmination of nearly 60 years of socioeconomic and political developments under successive governments since independence in 1957.

Summary:

  • Ghana has recently revived a decades-old aspiration to establish a nuclear power programme and use nuclear power to drive economic transformation and development.
  • The country’s current power generation capacity cannot supply competitively priced electricity in a reliable and secure manner.
  • Nuclear power is seen as a viable option that can be added to the country’s energy mix to meet demand in the residential, industry and transport sectors and drive industrialisation efforts.
  • Ghana is setting a good example to other aspiring countries by following the internationally accepted comprehensive framework for developing infrastructure for nuclear power: the IAEA Milestones Approach.
  • It is already one of eight countries that operate a research reactor in Africa. The country is home to a 30kW, low-power Miniature Neutron Source Reactor that it acquired from China in 1994. A nuclear power plant is seen as the next step.
  • The presence of uranium, used to fuel nuclear reactors, is an important dimension of Ghana’s nuclear programme.
  • Ghana has approached Russia, China and the Republic of Korea for financial assistance, as building a nuclear power plant costs between $8 billion and $10 billion.
  • The country hopes to build a nuclear power plant by 2030.
6 May 2021
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Research by
Series
Special Report March 2021
Country
Ghana
SAIIA Programme
African Governance and Diplomacy
Tags
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), nuclear power
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