US urges Kenya to be cautious in nuclear energy production

19 June 2016

The United States is advising Kenya and other African countries seeking to produce nuclear energy  to very keen and careful while taking this important step. Assistant Secretary of State for International Security and Non-proliferation, Mr. Thomas Countryman expressed caution specifically focusing on Sudan’s plan to build a nuclear power plant with the help of the Chinese.

“Nuclear energy represents a big decision for any country in the world to make. In choosing this means of generating electricity, you are committing yourself and the future generations for hundreds and thousands of years to the nuclear fuel cycle and to the cost of maintaining safe disposal of radioactive wastes and it is not a decision to be taken lightly by any country,” Mr Countryman pointed out.

In May this year, Kenya signed agreements with South Korea and Russia in the nuclear technology cooperation and also with China last year in 2015 and these acts have proven that the Kenyan government mission of producing nuclear power by the year 2030 is clear; this is according to a report by a United Nations nuclear power monitoring group.

Experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) noted during an eight-day mission in August 2015 that Kenya has made quite a significant progress in coming up with a decision-making framework related to nuclear-power infrastructure.

Apart from that, the experts also opened up to recommendations to Kenya for more preparations on part and they added that they should create a robust regulatory routine along with training and skills development programmes to strengthen human and institutional capacity.

Kenya should make use of nuclear power for it to become a middle-income country in the future; this was expressed by IAEA Deputy Director Mikhail Chudakov.

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