International Team Backs Kenya’s Nuclear Research Programme

January 11, 2024

Kenya’s ambition to commission its first nuclear research reactor by 2030 has received significant endorsement following the successful conclusion of an international review mission.

While touring the country’s nuclear infrastructure, a team of experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), consisting of two members from India and the United States, along with six IAEA staffers, commended Kenya’s preparatory steps. The government had invited the specialists in mid-December.

Andrey Sitnikov, who led the nine-day review mission, praised Kenya’s professional approach to the development of its research reactor program.

The IAEA mission acknowledged that Kenya had achieved substantial progress in developing the national nuclear infrastructure for the country’s new research reactor program.

“Kenya did a great job of developing and preparing laws and regulatory documents, actively involving interested stakeholders in the programme, and developing human resources of both the future operator and regulator,” said Sitnikov.

The team issued recommendations for further development of the nuclear infrastructure for the new research reactor program.

Kenya aims to establish a fully functioning and operational nuclear power plant by 2034, especially considering the diminishing water levels at Masinga Dam, the country’s primary hydroelectric dam.

Hydroelectricity significantly contributes to the national grid, aligning with the government’s ambition to achieve complete electrification through carbon-neutral means.

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