Senegal and France ink nuclear framework partnership agreement

The Senegalese Ministry of Higher Education has entered into an agreement with the French National Institute for Nuclear Science and Technology – Institut National des Sciences et Techniques Nucléaires, INSTN – to cooperate in establishing a centre of excellence in nuclear science and technology in the West African country, writes wnn. The nuclear cooperation agreement was signed by the director of INSTN Philippe Corréa for France and the minister of higher education, research and innovation Mary Teuw Niane for Senegal.

The agreement to collaborate on the nuclear science and technology project is anchored on three major objectives, reports wnn. First, it opens the peaceful atomic energy transfer door for France to support Senegal in the creation of an African Centre of Excellence in Nuclear Physics in close collaboration with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Second, it boosts Franco-Senegal’s bilateral nuclear science and technology cooperation and facilitates Senegal’s participation in the domestic development of teaching capability on a research reactor or a virtual reality teaching reactor. Third, and finally, the agreement seeks to support the development of training courses focused on nuclear health applications, particularly in the fight against cancer using external beam radiotherapy equipment.

The agreement has the potential benefit of contributing to human and institutional capacity building of the nuclear sector workforce in Senegal. To that end, the executive phase of the agreement could go down the line to create a distance learning platform for the training of Senegalese experts and students in nuclear science and technology. Through the remote education component, France could transfer knowledge and share best practices to promote national development and improve citizen wellbeing using nuclear applications in accordance with IAEA regulations.

Currently, the electricity supply in Senegal is produced from fossil fuels mainly. In early 2010, the government announced it was considering a nuclear power plant by about 2020. The decision was part of the government’s energy policy to diversify power generation sources in the country and to integrate Senegalese grid system with the West African Power Pool. In 2010, the energy minister was keen to establish an African Commission for Nuclear Energy with headquarters in Dakar, according to wnn. In the same year, France offered technical assistance in the nuclear field. A year later, the Senegalese president said that he had canceled plans for nuclear power. At the end of 2017, domestic electricity demand was only 550 MWe but is projected to grow at 7% per year.

The INSTN is a higher education institution founded in 1956 as part of the Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA) – le Commissariat à l’énergie atomique et aux énergies alternatives (CEA). To that end, INSTN benefits from an exceptional research and development environment in the nuclear energy sector, as well as applications in the fields of health and radiation protection.

Eastern Chiefs Applaud Ghana’s Nuclear Power Efforts

The Eastern Regional house of Chiefs has applauded the progress made by the Ghana Nuclear Power Programme Organization (GNPPO) at meeting the objective of including nuclear power into Ghana’s electricity generation mix.

This was expressed when the Chiefs and the Regional Minister Hon. Eric Kwakye Darffour toured the Exhibition stand mounted by the Nuclear Power Institute (NPI) of the GNPPO at the Koforidua Jackson park, as part of activities to commemorate the maiden ‘Eastern Star Awards and Paramountcy Trade Expo’.

The four days event that was put together by the Eastern Regional House of Chiefs, in collaboration with the Eastern Regional Coordinating Council and Onua 95.1fm, is to showcase the massive investment potential of the Eastern Region and also award natives and business entities that have brought notable development and job opportunities to the region.

The Gyasehene of Obo Kwahu, Nana Dr. Okra Baadu III who spoke in an interview was optimistic the vision of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah would be reactivated.  He acknowledged the role of Nuclear power in socioeconomic development.  According to him, China’s industrial transformation and rapid economic development is partly dependent on nuclear power.

He advised Ghanaians to adopt a high level of maintenance culture in order to meet the high standards required in the nuclear industry and to jealously guard the nuclear power plant after its commissioning.  He also called on fellow Chiefs in other regions to rally support for the Nuclear Power Programme since it is one of the obvious paths to meeting the industrialization agenda of the country.

The Manager of the Public Relations and Information Centre of NPI, Mr. Elikem Kwaku Ahialey, who took the opportunity to brief the Regional Minister and the Chiefs on Ghana’s nuclear journey and the basic working principle of nuclear power plant, expressed joy at the opportunity to engage Easterners during the Exhibition.

He disclosed that, the nuclear power programme is about to fully enter its second phase even though some second phase requirements have already be achieved. “We are fortunate for the opportunity to meet and engage some chiefs, students, traders and other class of people in society on issues of nuclear power and Ghana’s nuclear power programme”, he added.

He commended the Chiefs and people of the Eastern Region for the initiative to showcase the potential of the Region and finally called on Ghanaians to remain positive and optimistic towards the nuclear power programme since it will, among many other benefits, be a catalyst for facilitating Ghana’s aspiration of becoming economically self sufficient.

By: Thykingdom Kudesey / Office of Corporate and Public Affairs (OCPA) –  GAEC