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How gov't will spend Sh32B in first nuclear power project

Nuclear power

Kenya is on the brink of a significant leap towards embracing nuclear technology, with plans to develop the country’s first nuclear research reactor at an initial cost of Sh11 billion.

This ambitious venture, spearheaded by the Nuclear Power and Energy Agency (NuPEA), is not just a monumental step for Kenya but also a beacon of progress for nuclear research and energy development in East Africa.

The Nuclear Power and Energy Agency (NuPEA) has laid out an ambitious roadmap, requiring at least Sh11 billion for the initial phase of the project.

According to NuPEA, the project aims not only to bolster research capabilities but also to serve as a catalyst for economic development across various sectors.

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The agency envisions the reactor as a multifaceted tool, with applications ranging from education and training to healthcare, industry, and energy production.

The strategic move to request Sh11 billion from the Treasury is designed to cover 40 percent of the initial costs of the Kenya nuclear research reactor project.

Securing a 65-acre plot at Konza Technopolis for the construction, NuPEA is gearing up for what will be its single largest project, requiring Sh32.5 billion to realize its five-year plan.

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This development follows a fruitful assessment by a team from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in December, which noted significant progress in Kenya's preparations for a research reactor programme.

Looking beyond research, NuPEA has its sights set on commissioning Kenya’s first research reactor between 2030 and 2034, with groundwork commencing in 2026.

Furthermore, there are plans for a 1,000 megawatt electrical (MWe) nuclear plant in either Kilifi or Kwale, signaling a robust blueprint for Kenya's nuclear energy infrastructure.

The envisioned nuclear power plant, is projected to employ up to 7,000 workers during its peak construction phase and sustain up to 700 staff during operation.

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