Kenya pens nuclear power deal with South Korea
Kenya’s plans for nuclear electricity generation by 2027 have received a boost following the signing of a partnership agreement with three top South Korean nuclear power entities.
Kenya Nuclear Electricity Board (KNEB) penned a Memorandum of Understanding with the Korea Electric Power Corporation, (KEPCO), Korea Nuclear Association for International Cooperation (KNAIC) and the KEPCO International Graduate School (K-INGS).
This partnership deal will help Kenya to obtain important knowledge and expertise from Korea by way of capacity building, specialized training and skills development, as well as technical support for its intended nuclear power program.
Energy and Petroleum Cabinet Secretary, Charles Keter witnessed the signing of this partnership which will also see two Kenyans benefit from firsthand knowledge of South Korea’s nuclear power technology.
This development comes as KNEB is gearing up for feasibility studies to identify potential sites for Kenya’s nuclear power plants as well as undertaking reactor technology assessment aimed at settling on the best option in terms of nuclear power plant model.
Keter has been leading a Kenyan delegation for a four-day nuclear power cooperation visit to South Korea which included a visit to Doosan Heavy Industries and Construction Company and the Kori Nuclear Power Plant Complex in Busan.
In May 2016 during the visit by president Park Gun-Hye in the country, the ministry of energy entered into an agreement with the Korea’s ministry of Trade Industry and Energy
The agreement facilitated the exchange of technical information, three specialists as well as training opportunities for Kenyans in Korea’s vast nuclear power industry.
As part of the partnership with South Korea, sixteen Kenya students have been enrolled over the past three years at the KEPCO International Nuclear Graduate School (K-INGS) to undertake Masters Degree courses in Nuclear Power Engineering.
Other than the agreement with South Korea, Kenya has previously signed nuclear power cooperation pacts with Russia, China and Slovakia.
Kenya plans to set up a first nuclear power plant with a capacity of 1000MW by 2027. This is expected to rise to a total of 4000MW by 2033 making nuclear electricity a key component of the country’s energy mix which is projected will be about 20,000MW in total.
Kenya currently has an installed capacity of 2300MW. South Korea on the other hand currently generates 20,000MW from nuclear power, which accounts for 22 per cent of its total electricity generation capacity.
Earlier this year, the International Atomic Energy Agency gave a positive review of the progress of Kenya’s nuclear power programme, while recommending that a regulatory body should be set up as soon as possible.
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