CSOs oppose Kenya’s nuclear energy future

The Nuclear Power and Energy Agency (NuPEA) has contracted China National Nuclear Corporation to determine the most suitable location to construct a nuclear power plant in the next 8-10 years. 

The Indian Ocean, Lake Victoria, and Lake Turkana have been identified as top contenders for hosting Kenya’s first nuclear power plant. This week, President Uhuru Kenyatta is set to commission Lake Turkana Wind Power. 

Responding to this development, Greenpeace Africa’s Senior Political Advisor, Fredrick Njehu has said: Nuclear power plants pose a substantial risk of accidents. Globally, the nuclear power industry is in decline. It is a surprise that Kenya is considering energy production technologies such as nuclear power that have been overtaken by the expansion of renewable energy technologies such as wind, geothermal and solar.   

Greenpeace Africa is opposed to nuclear power generation both onshore and offshore. According to Greenpeace, the risks linked to nuclear power are too high, and no solution exists to dispose of the generated waste.  

“Nuclear power does not have the possibility to make a real contribution to preventing dangerous climate change and diverts money that could be better used to support renewable energy initiatives,” said Njehu.

“The president will today commission the Lake Turkana wind power project. The project is already contributing about 350MW to the grid – enough to power one million homes. 

Kenya is well-positioned to be a global leader in renewable energy and can easily put the country on a path to transition to 100% Renewable Energy by 2020, as President Uhuru Kenyatta has pledged.

Currently, renewable energy makes up 70% of the country’s installed electric power capacity.

“Greenpeace Africa is calling on the government of Kenya to move away from coal and nuclear energy ambitions to clean and sustainable renewable energy options.

Renewable energy options provide Kenya with many opportunities to fight climate change, meet the energy demands for economic, environmental and social prosperity.

This will enable the country to achieve real energy independence and security without running the risk of degrading the environment and creating complex health issues for the people of Kenya”.

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