Friday, 10 October 2014
I recall watching the movie Thor in 2011, which is based on an old Scandinavian mythology brought to life on the silver screen not as a god as the ancient Scandinavian claimed but as another human like being from another universe. He was trusted with a powerful relic, the hammer Mjolnir by his father Odin, King of Asgard. The hammer was said to have no equal and that it can be used as a weapon to destroy or as a tool to build. I can relate this to nuclear technology. Ever since its discovery, it has been used more as a weapon and to instill fear where the technology gave birth to the first nuclear weapon that practically turned the tides of the second world war. The builders visioned as a means to end the war, however spawned the fear amongst people. Nuclear Technology on the other side has had some positive effect as it has also been harnessed to provide sustainable, consistent and clean energy compared to oil, coal and gas. During the Nairobi International Trade Fair of 2014,Kenya Nuclear Electricity Board participated and came out of the shadows to show what the organization was all about. My colleagues and I were at the stand from the beginning to the end of the event and it was an illuminating experience. During the event it came to me that a lot of people do not know about nuclear technology and the benefits it will bring to Kenya, most people came with negative thoughts of how dangerous it will be, how we will be on the radar of the most powerful nations. Another truth is that people are used to the negative aspect and criticize however when it gets to provide a solution, nobody has a solid one to give. A lot of people had fears that it will be an expensive venture and the taxpayers will pay more but not looking at the other side of the coin on the significant gains nuclear technology will give to the people of Kenya. Be reminded that the so called G8 nations depend on the use of nuclear technology for sustaining their economy. A good example is the Republic of France whose 75% of their energy generation comes from nuclear power, though plans are to reduce it to 50% by 2025 to pave way for other sources of energy production. South Korea had a smaller economy like ours in the 1960's and there was a time Kenya provided financial aid to them during that time, now they are 20 times larger than our economy. In addition to this, they are currently our advisers and main consultants in the development of nuclear electricity generation. Kenya needs nuclear power to realize its economic potential and to roll with the big boys. It is in the heart of every Kenyan, in any place they are in this world, to see the country prosper and be proud to say that he or she can trace their roots there, just like the English, French and the Americans. One of the major pillars of Kenya's vision 2030 is energy and that is why Kenya Nuclear Electricity Board is in existence. To build the capacity and to dispel the paranoia and fear that has been fed to the minds of people from some acclaimed writers, newspapers and any other source of information that accentuates the negativity of nuclear technology. KNEB is currently the fulcrum of Nuclearliness, the intangible stuff that makes us do what we want to do and that is to show that Kenya needs nuclear technology, not just for nuclear electricity but for the future of this nation. We want to show people that the careers in the nuclear energy goes beyond a nuclear power plant and the board as it is key to opening countless discoveries waiting to be discovered, not just the current generation but the next generation. By Machel Awili.