Changamwe likely to host Kenya's nuclear power plant.
Changamwe constituency is a likely site for Kenya's nuclear power plant.
This was apparent after the National Assembly's Energy Committee on Saturday pleaded with area residents not to reject the plant.
The government intends to have a nuclear power plant by 2030 to generate power to complement its hydro, solar, geothermal and wind power.
Experts had identified Mombasa, Kisumu and Turkana counties as likely sites due to their proximity to vast water bodies. A nuclear power plant requires a lot of water to cool the reactors.
The Energy Committee, chaired by Nakuru Town East MP David Gikaria, has had 90 days of meetings to collect views from the public in 15 counties initially identified as potential sites.
The team had its final meeting on Saturday at Bomu Primary School in Changamwe.
The legislators have been collecting views on the Nuclear Regulatory Bill, 2018, to pave the way for the establishment of the nuclear plant.
According to Gikaria, 'The Bill is regulatory. It prepares the way for the nuclear energy generation in the country.'
It establishes the Nuclear Regulatory Authority to regulate the generation and use of nuclear energy, ensuring that safety standards are met.
He told Changamwe residents not to reject the plant, or else they miss out on economic growth and development.
The MP said Changamwe was ideal because of its proximity to the Indian Ocean. It is also an industrial area.
'We would also want Changamwe to be part of history in the world and say nuclear energy is being generated from this area. But that will depend on whether it will be the selected site,' Gikaria said.
He reminded them that Butere residents missed out on development after former MP, the late Martin Shikuku, opposed the establishment of a sugar factory in the constituency. The factory was instead set up in Mumias, which economically grew 10 times more than Butere.
The acting director of the Kenya Nuclear Electricity Board, Winnie Ndubai, said by 2030, demand for electricity will be way more than the production, hence the need for another source of energy.
She said nuclear energy will support the 24-hour economy because it generates electricity continuously, unlike the other sources which are dependent on the weather.
'The cost of electricity will significantly come down when we have nuclear,' Ndubai said.
The nuclear plant attracts other infrastructural developments like roads. The proposed plant is expected to generate 1,000 jobs directly and another 10,000 indirectly.
Some 32 people have been sponsored by the government to study nuclear power plant engineering in countries like Russia, Korea and China.
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|Publication:||The Star (Nairobi, Kenya)|
|Date:||May 7, 2019|
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