Coast, Lake Victoria and Lake Turkana likely locations for Kenya’s nuclear power plants

By Mercy Imali

Lake Turkana, The Indian Ocean and Lake Victoria are the most likely hosts for Kenya’s first nuclear power plant.

The Nuclear Power and Energy Agency (NuPEA) has contracted Chinese firm- China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) to determine the most suitable location in an ambitious two-year Site Characterization study. The agency plans to set up the nuclear power plant with a 1,000 megawatt (MW) capacity by 2027. NuPEA put the consultation cost at Ksh 50 million.

Mr Collins Juma, the NuPEA Chief Executive said, “Currently, we have zeroed in at the coast along the Indian Ocean, Lake Victoria and Lake Turkana as the most ideal sites. We have excluded the Rift Valley because we need enough water to cool the plant.”

The Energy Ministry has always argued that the country should only turn to atomic power when it has fully exploited other sources of energy.

Hydropower accounts for 35 percent of Kenya’s electricity generation, with the rest coming from geothermal, wind and diesel powered plants, the ministry says.

Plans to develop a 1,050-megawatt coal-fired plant on the coast, using funding from China, have been delayed by court action from environmental activists.