Thursday, December 23, 2010

Is Kenya Ready For Nuclear Power?

The Kenyan Government has announced plans of starting a nuclear power facility come 2017, but the questions on most Kenyans is " Is Kenya Ready For Nuclear Power" Nuclear Power comes in large quantities and also we could have enough to sell to our neighbours.Thats the advantageous side now do we have the capacity to dispose the nuclear waste? What if something goes wrong then we end up with a local Chenobyl Disaster?

The Project
The Kenyan government has identified construction sites for a nuclear power plant — potentially the first on the continent outside South Africa.Rolex Kirui, a senior engineer for the Kenyan government, says that one site has been identified near the Kenyan coast and construction is scheduled to begin once an ongoing environmental study has been completed. He says that a second potential site has been identified in western Kenya, bordering Lake Victoria.

Kenya has a shortage of 3,000 megawatts of electricity for the country. Kenya generates just 1,100 megawatts of electricity per year and its electricity production is ranked twenty-second in Africa.

The project will cost an estimated 80 billion Kenyan shillings (US$1 billion).But it will take at least five years before the plant is operational as extensive inspection must be carried out by authorities such as the Radiation Protection Board and the National Environmental Management Authority. Construction could begin as early as September 2010 once a feasibility study is complete

South Africa is the only African nation to have a fully operational nuclear power plant. Egypt and Nigeria are in the process of planning their own plants but Kenya is the first to both identify a site and undergo an environmental study.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Kengen to shut down Emergency Power Generators

The Kenya Electricity Generating Company, KenGen: Kenya's largest power producer is ready to switch off Emergency Power Generators. These power generators were commissioned last year (2009) during the period of acute shortage in power caused by low rainfall and low water levels in the hydroelectric dams.

The Emergency Power Generators which produce 150MWinto the grid, produce power from Diesel fuel resulting in the high electricity costs for Kenyans. The Power Relief cost the government 1.7Billion Ksh and have been running since the commissioning.

The expected switch off of these fuel guzzlers will take place on 6th January 2010.This will mean less power bills in the coming future as the government calls investors to explore the rich energy potential of Kenya. On the other hand, The Kenya Power & Lighting Company, KPLC - The Largest distributor of power, said consumers have been pointing a finger on them blaming them of huge power bills. KPLC has reassured its customers that they have to charge a higher Fuel Levy because of the Emergency Power generators.

A recent survey of the power in Kenya shows that the countries over-reliance of Hydro Power has seen massive shortage of power once the rains falls. It is because of this that Ken Gen has embarked of an expansion of its Geothermal Power at Olkaria, Naivasha.