China's CGN to cooperate with Kenya on nuclear energy

09 September 2015

The construction of a nuclear power plant in Kenya based on the Hualong 1 design will be examined under a memorandum of understanding signed between China General Nuclear (CGN) and the Kenya Nuclear Electricity Board (KNEB).

The signing of the MOU between CGN and KNEB (Image: CGN)

The memorandum of understanding (MOU) on the development of nuclear power in Kenya was signed on 7 September during a visit by KNEB representatives to CGN's Daya Bay nuclear power plant in China's Guangdong province.

Under the MOU, the two parties will discuss CGN's Hualong 1 technology, and carry out comprehensive cooperation in nuclear power development and capacity building in Kenya. This will include research and development, construction, operation, fuel supply, nuclear safety, nuclear security, radioactive waste management and decommissioning.

Cooperation between CGN and KNEB began in 2012 when a Kenyan delegation conducted field visits to China. In May this year, a CGN delegation visited Kenya and the two sides agreed to develop their nuclear power cooperation.

Kenya is Africa's ninth-largest economy with a population of 44 million. The country's development blueprint, known as Vision 2030, recognises energy as an "enabler" underpinning efforts to achieve economic, social and political goals under a strategy to establish Kenya as a "newly industrializing middle-income country" by 2030.

Only 30% of Kenya's population is connected to the electricity grid, with just 10% of its rural population connected. Under Kenyan government plans, installed generating capacity is to increase from the current 2 GWe to 5 GWe in 2016, reaching 17 GWe in 2030.

The country's National Economic and Social Council recommended in 2010 that Kenya should start using nuclear power by 2020 to meet its growing electricity demand, and the same year the Kenyan Ministry of Energy established a nuclear electricity project committee, subsequently transformed into the Kenya Nuclear Electricity Board. The statutory body is mandated with fast-tracking the development of nuclear electricity generation in Kenya with a mission to promote "safe and secure application of nuclear technology" for sustainable electricity generation and distribution.

Earlier this month, a 10-strong International Atomic Energy Agency team conducted an Integrated Nuclear Infrastructure Review mission to Kenya and concluded the country had made significant progress in its preparations to develop a nuclear power infrastructure.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News