A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Kenya is not where it aspires to be in terms of electricity generation and supply. In the history of the nuclear industry, going nuclear is not a journey achieved in one day or five years but one that is keenly calculated and strong safety measures put in place as well as adhered to without negotiation. For Kenya, embarking on a nuclear power journey is not any different either. Preparations towards this started in November 2010 when KNEB was established to play the role of a Nuclear Energy Programme Implementing Organization (NEPIO). A Pre-Feasibility Study Report which is almost coming into completion will allow the Government to make an appropriate and informed decision to implement a nuclear power generation project.
Besides, the country is also preparing future personnel in terms of building capacity for human resource. The Government has invested heavily in sponsoring students to pursue Post Graduate Studies in Nuclear Science at the University of Nairobi's Institute of Nuclear Science and Technology. Additionally, with the growing partnership between the Government of Kenya and that of the Republic of South Korea, more students are pursuing a Masters Degree in Nuclear Engineering at South Korea's Institute of Nuclear Graduate Studies (KINGS). In light of this, it is expected that by the time a nuclear power plant is commissioned for operation in about 10 years to come, these personnel will have been trained and exposed to the nuclear world enough to professionally carry out operational activities in a nuclear power plant. KNEB has also been participating in public forums to create awareness and educate the public on nuclear energy issues as a means to address public fears and concerns about this source of electricity. These are just a few examples of how the country is preparing itself for a civil nuclear electricity generation project.
At this point in time, we can only be patient and let the Government make a concrete decision as pertains to the entire issue of technically going nuclear. The report will also address in detail specific issues such as siting of the nuclear power plant, funding and financing of the project, emergency response, safety and security, radioactive waste management and nuclear plant technology among others. It is hoped that public concerns will be adequately addressed in the aforementioned report which the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is also offering its support and guidance before it is presented to the Government for scrutiny and appropriate decision-making.
We all look forward to a better and power secure nation. Aren't we?