The Nuclear Electricity Project Committee was established in November, 2010, by the Government to drive the nuclear energy generation programme for Kenya. This will be achieved through the preparation, endorsement and implementation of a detailed road map for the realisation of this ambition under the guidance of the UN’s Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The 14-member committee headed by an executive chair, is drawn from the University of Nairobi, the Kenya National Academy of Sciences, the National Council for Science and Technology, the Institute for Science and Technology, utilities (Kenya Power and KenGen), the Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Technology and the National Security Intelligence Services.
NEP is required to come up with a policy on nuclear energy, undertake civic education, approve a capacity building plan targeting young Kenyans for purposes of nuclear research and development, cite potential places where nuclear power plants can be constructed, among other roles. To attain nuclear status, Kenya shall be guided by the IAEA milestone approach.
The development of Kenya’s nuclear infrastructure should meet the following objectives.
- Comprehensively recognise and identify the national commitments and obligations associated with the introduction of nuclear power.
- Establish and adequately prepare the entire national infrastructure needed to begin the construction of a nuclear power plant.
- Establish all the necessary competencies and capabilities to be able to regulate and operate a nuclear power plant safely, securely, and economically over its lifetime.
Attainment of the above objectives shall be marked by specific milestones done in phases at which the progress and success of the development effort can be assessed and a decision made to move to the next phase.
- Ready to make a knowledgeable commitment to a nuclear programme.
- Ready to invite bids for the first nuclear power plant.
- Ready to commission and operate the first nuclear power plant.
During the implementation of Kenya’s nuclear power programme, IAEA’s assistance will be sought to further strengthen the national capacity to undertake long-term energy analysis and strategy development. IAEA requires the government to fully own and drive the NEP implementation agenda. To support the programme, the Ministry of Energy has designated a budget of Kshs400 million ($4.7 million) over the past two financial years for NEP to develop a detailed timebound road map for nuclear electricity generation. The first task NEP will perform will be a pre-feasibility study followed by a countrywide civic education programme to inform and garner acceptance and support for the nuclear power programme.