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Ghana Reports Strong Vendor Interests in its Nuclear Plan

Dan Yurman's picture
Editor & Publisher NeutronBytes, a blog about nuclear energy

Publisher of NeutronBytes, a blog about nuclear energy online since 2007.  Consultant and project manager for technology innovation processes and new product / program development for commercial...

  • Member since 2018
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  • Dec 4, 2021
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  • Ghana Reports Strong Vendor Interest in its Nuclear Plan
  • NPG Identifies Four Sites for Ghana’s First Nuclear Plant
  • EDF Head Announces International Advisory Board For NUWARD SMR
  • France / Microreactor Startup Signs Agreement with Assystem To Build Ultra-Compact Reactor
  • EDF Head Announces International Advisory Board For NUWARD SMR

Ghana Reports Strong Vendor Interests in its Nuclear Plan

np ghanaFifteen vendors from different countries have expressed interest in partnering the Nuclear Power Ghana (NPG) to establish the country’s first Nuclear Power Plant according to a local press report citing statements buy Dr Stephen Yamoah, the Executive Director of Nuclear Power Ghana (NPG).

Dr. Yamoah, who holds a PhD. in nuclear engineering  said six companies are interested in establishing Large Reactors (700-1200 MWe) and nine others are interested in establishing Small Modular Reactors (300 MWe and below).

The companies are from China, US, Russia, Korea, Canada and France. “With the exception of India, all the countries responded to the request. India said it has so many commitments at the moment so it cannot come on board,” he said.

Dr Yamoah said the NPG was evaluating the proposals and a report would be submitted to the Minister of Energy for action after the assessment of their expressions of interest. The Government’s target is to establish the first nuclear power plant by 2030.

The current effort is to select a vendor and a project site. The NPG had settled on four locations and said further studies were ongoing to settle on one of the sites.

Ghana’s roadmap for nuclear power calls for work to start on a new reactor by 2024 and to commission it by 2030. See also a 2020 briefing on the overall structure of Ghana’s nuclear program including safety/regulation and stakeholder engagement.

Dr Yamoah said the NPG was exploring various financial options for the project.

“We want industries to come on board and deliver because the longer we postpone the project, the more expensive it becomes,” Yamoah said.

Ghana’s population is projected to grow to roughly 38 million by 2030. It is expected that residential and industrial demand for electricity will increase at the same time. The country exploring sustainable options to generate affordable electricity to meet the expected demand. It is also a quest to increase power generation while reducing emissions.

The country’s nuclear program is being justified based on the need for alternate baseload power for industrialization, limited hydro sources, a postulated decline of access to natural gas, tariff reduction for industries, desalination, employment creation, and climate change commitments.

np ghana np

Image: Nuclear Business Platform – Ghana

Currently in Phase 2 of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) #Milestone Approach, Ghana expects to start the production of #nuclear energy by 2030. In September, five international vendors responded to the “Request for Interest” issued by Ghana. Ghana’s Nuclear Power Programe is estimated to generate $1.2 billion through local industry participation during its implementation.

NPG Identifies Four Sites for Ghana’s First Nuclear Plant

Nuclear Power Ghana (NPG) says it will select one of the four sites identified for the construction of Ghana’s first nuclear plant by the end of 2022.

Dr. Stephen Yamoah, Executive Director, NPG said under phase two of the project, the selection of a preferred site is underway including the analysis of historical data in all four areas.

He noted that the second phase included the selection process, project structure, and integrated management system, selection of vendor or strategic partners, and community engagement and stakeholder management.

Even though no disclosures were made particularly on the identified site, Dr. Yamoah said seismological installation, geological, geochemical, potential human-induced events, grid issues among others were already underway.

He said some policy, strategies, and detailed planning were being put in place for implementation and project development while considering technical inputs in identifying the particular site for the nuclear power plant.

“We’re on course to complete the second phase of the site selection activities next year which ends with the identification of the nuclear plant site by the end of next year.”

& & &

France / Microreactor Startup Signs Agreement with Assystem To Build Ultra-Compact Nuclear Plant

(NucNet) (WNA) A French startup developing a Generation IV nuclear microreactor that can range in size from as small as 1 MWe to 40 MWe has signed an agreement with engineering group Assystem to build the ultra-compact plant.

Assystem will provide project management, permitting, integration and engineering services for Naarea’s XSMR, (eXtra Small Modular Reactor), which will potentially be powered by material recycled from spent nuclear fuel, or from thorium, could be produced by 2030.

It says its ultra-compact molten salt reactor uses “the untapped potential of used radioactive materials, and thorium, unused mining waste.” Naarea noted, “The current stocks of these two wastes will supply the energy needs of humanity for thousands of years, and reconcile humanity with its future.”

Thorium-based fuels and fuel cycles have been used in the past, but have yet to be commercialized. It is unclear where and when in the development cycle the reactor would be configured to use thorium as a fuel.

Assystem will develop a digital twin of the XSMR to model and simulate its behavior. The twin will provide critical information for validating the design and will lead to the construction of a physical prototype. Naarea also announced it will use a cloud-based platform supplied by French company Dassault Systèmes’ to create the XSMR’s virtual twin.

Naarea, founded in November by entrepreneurs Jean-Luc Alexandre and Ivan Gavriloff, said the agreement with Assystem is the concrete realization of a collaboration that has been underway for several months.

Assystem said advanced modular reactors represent an additional technology for accelerating the energy transition alongside high-power reactors, small modular reactors and renewables.

Once it develops the XSMR, Naarea intends to target applications in areas such as transportation, agriculture and smart buildings. The company says that, because of the compact size of its reactor and because there is no need for it to be grid-connected, the XSMR can “be deployed as close as possible to regions, to match energy demand as closely as possible and allow the control of security of supply, at the service of industries and communities.”

& & &

EDF Head Announces International Advisory Board For NUWARD SMR

(NucNet) EDF has set up an international advisory board to help with the development of the company’s NUWARD small modular reactor, EDF chairman and chief executive officer Jean-Bernard Lévy announced.

Mr Lévy said senior representatives from industry and research organizations would provide advice and insights on the NUWARD project.

He said the new board will include experts from EDF UK, Fortum and Teollisuuden Voima Oyj of Finland, Ontario Power Generation; the UJV Rež research institute from the Czech Republic, India’s Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Politecnico di Milano of Italy.

In 2019, EDF, France’s CEA nuclear agency, reactor design and maintenance company TechnicAtome and the Naval Group announced plans to develop together an SMR that could be on the market by the end of the next decade.

NUWARD is a Generation III pressurized water reactor combining two 170 MWe reactors for a total output of 340 MWe. One of the main characteristics of the plant will be the integration of proven PWR technology into a compact modular configuration.

The NUWARD project received €50m as part of a French recovery plan announced at the end of 2020, when president Emmanuel Macron reiterated his support for the country’s nuclear industry and his willingness to back France as a key player in the SMR sector. “

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Daniel Duggan's picture
Daniel Duggan on Dec 4, 2021

If Dr Stephen Yamoah succeeds in building and commissioning a modern nuclear power plant in Ghana at something close to schedule and budget, the country's highest award should follow. And....he can spend the remainder of his working life as a valued consultant advising all the countries currently incapable of doing the same.  I wish Dr. Yamoan the best of luck.

Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Dec 6, 2021

Are you saying that because you would expect it to be particularly challenging to pull this off in Ghana specifically, or just the general overruns in budget/schedule that are seen anywhere in the world of new builds? 

Daniel Duggan's picture
Daniel Duggan on Feb 6, 2022

Both Matt.

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