ENERGY FUTURE

Too early to close Nuclear Authority

In Summary

• Legislation has been proposed to disband the Kenya Nuclear Power and Energy Authority 

• Nuclear power does not emit greenhouse gases and is now supported by many environmentalists

Nuclear power may be the solution to the global climate crisis. It is clean in that it emits no greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide. Power stations do not take up a lot of space like wind turbines, and their capacity is unlimited unlike geothermal.

But nuclear reactors create radioactive waste that takes thousands of years to decay and needs to be expensively stored. They require a lot of water for cooling to ensure they do not 'melt down'. The consequences of a nuclear disaster can be catastrophic, as in Chernobyl or Fukushima.

A new generation of mini-reactors developed by companies like Rolls Royce may solve many of these problems.

Is it a good idea for Kenya to develop nuclear power? Does it have the capacity to manage nuclear waste? Is it necessary with so much undeveloped geothermal capacity in Kenya?

However the Kenya Nuclear Power and Energy Authority which should have answered these questions is now being disbanded (see P11).

It has been closed down too early. Nuclear energy is a good idea in principle but possibly bad in practice. However that assessment still needs to be tested further by government.

Quote of the day: "I have a very strict gun control policy: if there's a gun around, I want to be in control of it."

Clint Eastwood
The American actor was born on May 31, 1930

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