GLOBAL WARMING

Nuclear power should be postponed for now

In Summary

• The Ngumi Task Force on PPAs has recommended that the Nuclear Power and Energy Authority be wound up

• Government has been planning to generate power from a nuclear power station by 2037

A file photo of the Koeberg power station in South Africa, the only nuclear-fuelled power facility on the African continent.
A file photo of the Koeberg power station in South Africa, the only nuclear-fuelled power facility on the African continent.
Image: REUTERS

The Ngumi Task Force investigating power purchase agreements has advised that the parastatal NuPEA should be wound up (see P11).

The Task Force said that the creation of the Nuclear Power and Energy Authority, formerly the Kenya Nuclear Electricity Board, was premature as 2037 is the earliest that Kenya plans to use nuclear power.

Despite its poor reputation, nuclear power is one of the cleanest forms of energy available as it emits no greenhouse gases. Many environmental experts believe therefore that nuclear power provides one possible solution to the problem of global warming.

The problem is that generating nuclear power is technically complex and extremely expensive in upfront capital costs. Kenya still has untapped potential for green energy with geothermal and wind power so it is right to postpone nuclear power for the time being.

Furthermore, the Ngumi Task Force has also discovered that Kenya generates more power than it needs, much of it from private contractors, and at a higher price than it needs to pay. So it definitely makes sense to wind up this nuclear parastatal and turn it into a department in the Energy ministry.

Quote of the day: "France could have all the socialism its capitalistic economy could support".

François Mitterrand
The French President  was born on October 26, 1916