Wednesday, 30 January 2013


After the Fukushima -Daiichi nuclear incident of 2011 which was triggered by an earthquake and a tsunami, some developed countries considered to abandon and phase out nuclear energy. But, we need to understand certain aspects behind such considerations. And Kenya cannot compare to these countries.

For example take the case of Germany:

Germany’s electric grid is interconnected to that of European Union members which is made up of 25 countries including France whose energy mix includes approximately over 70% nuclear. Germany can comfortably purchase/import electricity from France or any other neighbouring EU member countries. This means that Germany can afford to shut down all her nuclear power plants and decommission them. On the other hand, Japan cannot replicate Germany's way since it does not have the advantage that Germany has. 

Again, note that Japan and Germany generate more than 120,000 megawatts (MW) and they are both developed unlike Kenya which aims to be a middle level economy by 2030 let alone being a developed country. Perhaps it may be better to compare ourselves with countries which have transitioned from underdevelopment to development. For example, South Korea was generating 2,600 MW in 1971 but it is now generating close to 80,000 MW all due to the inclusion of nuclear power into its energy mix. Its economic development could not have been accelerated that fast were it not for the implementation of a nuclear power programme. Even if Japan was to resort to expanding other sources of electricity generation such a wind or solar, its economy can never be what it used to be when nuclear power was available.

And mark you, it is no rocket science to know that for any given country in the world, supporting a massive industrial growth such as that of South Korea or Japan requires nothing less than 'base load electricity' which nuclear plants can sustainably provide without carbon emissions to the environment. Kenya could borrow from the success stories of countries that have managed to reap from the benefits of nuclear power, at the same time taking into keen consideration the fact that it is imperative not to neglect the lessons learned from countries that have encountered struggles in the nuclear industry. Such is what would help Kenya as a country to successfully record a growing economy.