UN Clears Kenya Nuclear Energy Project

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"The nuclear power plant is expected to provide 90 % of the country's electricity needs, making Kenya the world's biggest consumer of nuclear energy ahead of France."

Inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency, who have been in the country for a week, on Thursday approved Kenya's application for its first nuclear power station.

The 35,000MW facility is to be built at a cost of Sh950 billion on a 200-acre plot in the Athi Plains, about 50km from Nairobi, and is expected to satisfy all of Kenya's energy needs until 2040.

The formal agreement is expected to be signed between the IAEA and the government in the next two weeks.

Already the government is in talks with the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA), which will supervise the construction and train technicians and other experts to run the plant.

Once complete, the nuclear power plant is expected to provide 90 % of the country's electricity needs, making Kenya the world's biggest consumer of nuclear energy ahead of France which derives 80 % of its electricity from nuclear sources and the United States, which obtains only 19 % of its electricity from the same.

The world's chief nuclear inspector, Mr Yukiya Amano was expected in the country on Thursday to attend a United Nations meeting, and possibly for the signing of the agreement with Kenya.

Currently, Kenya has an established power capacity of only 1,296MW. Power consumption is growing at 8 % a year and is expected to reach 15,000MW by 2030.

But with the nuclear facility, Kenya will have so much power that it will supply for free to industry.

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