October 23, 2021
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CSIR joins GAEC to celebrate Africa Scientific Renaissance Day

Don’t fear atomic energy - Dr. Afriyie urges Ghanaians

  • It is high time we turned our attention to atomic energy as another way of generating electricity.
  • There is no need to fear atomic energy since it has lots of benefits as compared with the usage of gas energy.

Dr. Kwaku Afriyie, the Minister of Environment, Science, Technology, and Innovation (MESTI) has urged Ghanaians to disabuse their minds about the fear of atomic energy as an alternative source of power generation.

He explained that the risks associated with atomic energy are lesser, safer, and more reliable than the usage of gas energy that is currently a major source of Ghana’s electric power.

Dr. Afriyie added that gas energy has a shorter life span, is more expensive, and comes with international restrictions to reduce the spread of carbons in the atmosphere.

Atomic energy which is also known as nuclear energy is a source of energy that comes from splitting atoms in a reactor to heat water into steam, turn a turbine and generate electricity.

Dr. Afriyie spoke with journalists after the opening session of a three-day Africa Scientific Renaissance Day (ARSD) celebration (June 28-30, 2021) which was hosted by the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC) on the theme: Ghana’s Readiness for Nuclear Power”.

He said that Ghana has the resource capacity and readiness to go into nuclear power adding “if Pakistan can do it, if other countries can do it even in the developed world, we (Ghana) certainly can do it.

At the event, Dr. Afriyie noted that MESTI and other stakeholders would collaborate to intensify education to allay the fears of the general public.

In his welcome address, Prof. Shiloh Osae, the Deputy Director-General of GAEC, said, the Commission has turned its focus to engaging stakeholders on the discussion of nuclear energy this year to test their readiness for power generation.

He said that the involvement with some stakeholders has enabled them to make significant gains in their efforts to introduce nuclear power and added, “We think it is time to discuss our progress so far and also review what we have done and receive feedback so that we can develop the strategies for the way forward”.  

Meanwhile, in a speech read on his behalf, Prof. Victor Kwame Agyeman, the Director-General of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), said the development of the country’s energy infrastructure was critical to contributing to the achievement of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals.

He added that the country is still intensifying efforts to research into the benefits of nuclear energy that has been Ghana’s vision since the attainment of independence.

For Dr. Seth Kofi Debrah, the Director of Nuclear Power Institute at the GAEC, plans are advanced to build a nuclear power plant in 2029 adding that, the presentation of the first phase of a nuclear power programme to the government has been successful.

He noted that there was adequate resource capacity to see to the implementation of the programme.  

Dr. Emmanuel Marfo, the Chairman of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Environment, Science, and Technology, said more information should be given to Ghanaians for them to understand and embrace nuclear power.

He urged the need to engage Select Committees of Parliament in the process of the adoption of the nuclear power programme.  

The ASRD is celebrated on June 30 every year in accordance with the African Union resolution passed in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in July 1987.

The day is being celebrated across Africa to remember the continent’s tremendous contribution to the rise and development of modern science and technology.

Among the institutions that attended the opening session this year, were the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA), and the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC)

Last year, CSIR, hosted a virtual  ASRD celebration under the theme ‘Rethinking Food Security and Nutrition in the midst of COVID-19 pandemic’.

Dr. Kwaku Afriyie (5th from right), the Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI) and Prof. Paul Bosu, the Deputy Director-General of CSIR (6th from right) with other participants in a group photograph at the opening session of the African Scientific Renaissance Day

Source: Corporate Affairs Division


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