Ghana: $1.75m Fund For Nuclear Reactor Regional Training Hub For The Country

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Ghana is to benefit from a $1.75 mil­lion support fund towards establishing the country as a Small Modular Nucle­ar Reactor (SMR) regional training hub and centre of excellence for the sub-Saharan African region.

The support focuses on Ghana’s nuclear workforce development, including the provision of an SMR control room simulator, univer­sity partnerships, and academic exchanges to position Ghana as a regional training hub for nuclear power technicians and operators.

It is one of the benefits accrued to countries which participate in the Foundational Infrastructure for Responsible Use of Small Modular Reactor Technology (FIRST) capacity building pro­gramme which Ghana has done since 2022.

The funding support was announced by the USA Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for International Securi­ty and Nonproliferation, Ann Ganzer, during the opening of a two-day FIRST Africa Region­al conference on Civil Nuclear Energy Development in Accra yesterday.

She stated that, through the support, Ghana would be posi­tioned to develop a skilled nuclear workforce for the region consis­tent with the highest international standards of nuclear safety, securi­ty, and nonproliferation.

The funding support, she stated, was another step in the U.S’ com­mitment to deepen civil nuclear cooperation and support Ghana’s goal of being a first mover in Africa.

She noted that USA support to Ghana would include technical assistance, professional training exchanges, and regulatory frame­work collaboration.

“With this support, Ghana will be positioned to develop a skilled nuclear workforce for the country and the region consistent with the highest international standards of nuclear safety, security, and non­proliferation.

This partnership will assist Gha­na and other like-minded countries in the region in moving towards clean, affordable, safe, and secure energy sources,” Madam Ganzer noted.

FIRST, she said, supports Gha­na’s leadership in the region on moving towards SMR deployment, consistent with the highest inter­national standards for security, safety, and nonproliferation, and its development of a skilled nucle­ar workforce to achieve decarboni­sation and energy security goals.

Earlier this year, she noted that, the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of International Security and Non-proliferation hosted a high-level delegation from Ghana and Kenya to visit U.S. national labo­ratories and operating nuclear power plants to strengthen partnerships, with sup­port by the FIRST Programme.

Madam Ganzer said the USA was committed to supporting the use of innovative clean energy technologies to power global decarbonisation efforts and pro­viding options to achieve net zero transition in hard-to-abate energy sectors.

Daniel Wordson, Research Scientist at Nuclear Plant Ghana (NPG), said Ghana was undertaking nuclear power development through a multilateral approach that includes regional cooperation to ensure it was immune from national politics and engenders peace and security.

This, he said, would also facilitate financing and promote harmonised regulatory frame­works, technology and standards that would guide the operation of a nuclear plant.

He noted that Ghana would develop and deploy its nuclear en­ergy in conformity with the inter­nationally recognised safeguards, safety and security.

Despite the cost implications, he stated that, investments in nu­clear energy was necessary to pro­tect the environment and climate from further deterioration.


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