The search for a nuclear power plant is a valid and pragmatic measure for the planned economic expansion of the country, said Professor Emeritus Omowumi Iledare, Trade Chairman of the Ghana National Petroleum Commission (GNPC) of the University of Cape Coast (UCC).
He said nuclear power was cost effective and would provide greater baseload power to meet the huge energy demand of developing economies such as Ghana.
Given this, he said the country will need more investors to secure industrial expansion to absorb the power capacity the plant will provide.
Emeritus Professor Iledare was speaking in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) about the country’s attempt to venture into nuclear technology for electricity.
Ghana is on a mission to introduce nuclear energy into its energy mix by 2030.
This decision is mainly aimed at generating enough energy to carry out its industrialization program and provide affordable electricity to its population.
The country is currently in the second of three phases instituted for the safe commissioning, operationalization and decommissioning of nuclear power plants.
Professor Iledare praised the country for being the first in the West African sub-region to chart this course, saying: “Energy is an engine of economic growth and natural gas is not a good feedstock. basic.
“Nuclear is a very good idea. It is futuristic when it comes to meeting current needs,” he said.
Contrary to many people’s fear of explosions and radioactive contamination, he noted that nuclear energy was the cleanest and safest form of energy because it followed dozens of strict layers of safety measures.
“If you look at the deaths recorded so far in nuclear accidents, it’s nothing like the deaths from airplane flights.
“People have reason to lament the radiation aspect, but we might as well not be driving cars,” he said.
He said it was necessary to educate the public to appreciate the safety and benefits of nuclear energy to avoid public opposition to the noble course.
“People need to understand what nuclear power can do to lower the cost of energy per unit, giving households more money to spend on other goods and services.
“The unit cost of nuclear energy is significantly lower than the unit cost of using gas,” he said.
Professor Iledare however recommended the ‘optimum energy mix strategy’ which encompasses all forms of energy sources to avoid over reliance on a single source.
“The one thing is, when you’re talking about energy deliverability, affordability is just as important.
“I have always argued for comparative economic advantage for energy sources where technology could help make even the use of oil cleaner,” he added.