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Nuclear Power and Ghana’s Future Electricity Generation

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by Ennison, I. (National Nuclear Research Institute, Ghana Atomic Energy Commission (Ghana)); Dzobo, M. (Energy Commission, Accra (Ghana)), E-mail:

One of the major challenges facing Ghana in her developmental efforts is the generation of adequate and affordable electricity to meet increasing demand. Problems with the dependency on hydro power has brought insecurity in electricity supply due to periodic droughts. Thermal power systems have been introduced into the electricity generation mix to complement the hydro power supply but there are problems associated with their use. The high price of crude oil on the international market has made them expensive to run and the supply of less expensive gas from Steps are being taken to run the thermal plants on less expensive gas from Nigeria has delayed due to conflicts in the Niger Delta region and other factors. The existing situation has therefore called for the diversification of the electricity generation mix so as to ensure energy security and affordable power supply. This paper presents the nuclear option as a suitable alternative energy source which can be used to address the energy supply problems facing the nation as well the steps being taken towards its introduction in the national energy mix. In addition, electricity demand projections using the MAED model as well as other studies are presented. The expected electricity demand of 350000 GWh (4000MWyr) in 2030, exceeds the total electricity supply capability of the existing hydropower system, untapped hydro resources and the maximum amount of gas that can be imported from Nigeria through the West Africa pipelfrom Nigeria through the West Africa pipeline. Also presented is a technological assessment on the type of nuclear reactor to be used. The technological assessment which was done based on economics, grid size, technological maturity, passive safety and standardization of reactor design, indicate that a medium sized pressurized water reactor (i.e. a PWR with capacity 300MW to 700MW) is the most favourable type of reactor. In addition the challenges facing the implementation of the nuclear power programme in Ghana are presented. (author)

Source/Report: International Atomic Energy Agency, Division of Nuclear Power, Vienna (Austria); European Commission, Joint Research Centre, Petten (Netherlands); OECD Nuclear Energy Agency, Issy les Moulineaux (France); World Nuclear Association, London (United Kingdom); International Electrotechnical Commission, Geneva (Switzerland); [CD]; ISBN 978-92-0-164210-3; Worldcat; 2011; 7 p; International Conference on Opportunities and Challenges for Water Cooled Reactors in the 21. Century; Vienna (Austria); 27-30 Oct 2009; IAEA-CN–164-1P01; ISSN 1991-2374;Worldcat; Also available on-line:; Also available on-line: and on 1 CD-ROM from IAEA, Sales and Promotion Unit, E-mail:; Web site:; Full Paper; 3 figs., 6 refs.

Publ. Year: 2011

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