The progress in nuclear energy in Kenya is now taking shape as the government has recognized its contributions to the realization of vision 2030. The 10th parliament passed the energy bill that allows inclusion of nuclear power in the energy mix among hydro, geothermal, wind and solar power that remain the current source of electricity in the country. With rising energy demands from the growing industries, nuclear electricity is arguably the best alternative to offer reliable solution. Apart from nuclear energy, the peaceful use of nuclear science and technology has been in existence for a very long time in Kenya. However, many Kenyans are still ignorant of what nuclear science and technology entails. In most cases, nuclear science and technology has been associated with atomic bombs or weapons of mass destruction. Therefore, there is need to demystify nuclear science and technology and educate the general public on the importance of nuclear science and technology.
Milestones by the Ministry of Energy and Kenya Nuclear Electricity Board
Human resource development is ongoing both in Kenya and abroad with South Korea and the US institutions giving their full support to Kenya’s quest for nuclear developments. Regulatory framework is also being set up and reviewed with the close guidance and support of the International Atomic Energy Agency. During Member States meeting at the 57th IAEA General Conference in Vienna, Kenya was among the 11 new countries to be elected to serve on the 35-member IAEA Board of Governors for a one-year period from 2013-2014.
On a positive note also, Kenya’s Energy Cabinet Secretary Davis Chirchir asked development partners to back Kenya’s plan to establish a nuclear power programme. Speaking in Austria during the 57th International Atomic Energy Agency general conference, Chirchir said Kenya’s quest to develop nuclear power is out of the need to diversify its energy mix. “This is guided by the need to mitigate the rising cost of fossil fuels for electricity generation and to meet our growing domestic and industrial energy demands,” Chirchir said. The CS said a draft Atomic Energy Bill has been submitted to the IAEA for legal review and technical input. Once enacted to law, he said, it will lead to the establishment of an Atomic Energy Commission to regulate nuclear -related projects and businesses in the country. The Bill will also give guidelines on radioactive waste management and decommissioning of nuclear facilities. Currently the Nuclear Electricity Board undertakes the development and implementation of a nuclear power programme.
Adopted from ‘The Star*’ Kenyan local news.
Kenyan Young Generation in Nuclear Conceived
Kenyan Young Generation in Nuclear (KYGN) was therefore formed not only for its members to join the rest of the world and create networks globally, but also to foster the peaceful use of nuclear science and technology in Kenya in collaboration with other stakeholders.
So far several meetings have been held and a constitution has successfully been drafted, and we hope to register it as by the end of October 2013.
KYGN Motto is Demystifying Nuclear and our objectives include:
(a) Develop new approaches to communicate benefits of nuclear science and technology
(b) To inform and educate the general population about nuclear science and technology
(c) Promote peaceful and safe uses of nuclear science and technology for the welfare of mankind
(d) Transfer knowledge from the current generation of leading scientists to the next generation
(e) Provide a platform and create an enabling environment to facilitate the building of professional Organizations that will open up future opportunities
President – Pamella Kageliza Kilavi
Vice President – Raphael Chesori
Executive secretary – Stephen Tollah
Treasurer – Simon Adede
Public Information Officer – Wilson Kairu
Professional Development Officer – Christine Matindi
Anticipated Networks and collaborations
In order to achieve the aforementioned objectives, KYGN will work in collaboration and partnership with key institutions and organizations in Kenya and overseas. This includes Nuclear Electricity Board, Radiation Protection Board, National Commission of Science & Technology, Kenya Bureau of Standards, Kenya Industrial Research Development Institute, Kenya Agricultural Research Institute, Kenya Medical Research Institute, University of Nairobi; Institute of Nuclear Science & Technology among others.
We also hope to closely work with International Youth Nuclear Congress, Other Young Generation Networks in Nuclear, International Atomic Energy Agency, Nuclear Energy Agency, International Livestock Research Institute, World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), and other Intergovernmental agencies involved with nuclear energy developments and also leading overseas institutions of higher learning in Nuclear Science and Technology.
(a) KYGN Launch and Summit
We hope to have a launch of KYNG by mid 2014. This will also be an opportunity to sensitize the public on the peaceful use of nuclear science and technology and we hope to have as many of the institutions and/or stakeholders using this technology to present and showcase the use of nuclear in their field.
(b) SAYNPS (South African Young Nuclear Professional Society) Summit
We are looking forward to learning the best practices from our South African counterparts. We therefore hope to send the officials to the SAYNPS summit which will be held on the 4th to 6th December, 2013. This will offer an opportunity to learn from them as our partnering network in the formative stage of KYGN.
Complied by the KYGN Interim Leadership