Nuclear power is one of the safest energy sources with the lowest death rate.
Of a total of 667 nuclear power plants built since 1951 (72 years), only three major accidents have occurred.
Mr. Wisdom Ahiataku-Togobo, Director of the Executive Office of the Bui Power Authority (BPA), who made this known during a workshop for media professionals in Accra, said that the internationally recognized official death statistics for the combined loss of life from the three major nuclear power plant accidents is 32 people.
Referring to official data compiled by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), he said that estimates of the number of deaths caused by the nuclear energy sector as a whole are 90 per 1000 TWh, the least of all energy sectors.
“The fear of nuclear that a lot of people can portray is really not there. It’s just that we have to raise awareness to know that nuclear is safe and so far the data has shown that there is less more deaths from nuclear than from other power generation options, said Mr. Ahiataku-Togobo.
While allaying citizens’ fears over negative perceptions of nuclear safety, Mr. Ahiataku-Togobo said the three major nuclear accidents recorded so far have forced the IAEA to put in place strict regulatory measures to minimize the future nuclear accidents.
“Nuclear energy is environmentally friendly as it does not emit greenhouse gases and is therefore a safe way to propel the energy transition towards net zero emissions,” he said.
According to experts, the current energy source, including hydropower and renewable options, cannot support sustainable energy.
Ghana has therefore stepped up its efforts to add nuclear power to its energy mix – and the plan is to build and operate the country’s first nuclear power plant by 2030.
Hence, Nuclear Power Ghana (NPG) was established in 2018 as a project organization to manage Ghana’s first nuclear power project. The Organization has been designated as the eventual owner and operator of the first nuclear power plant.
Mr. Ahiataku-Togobo said nuclear energy has the potential to provide affordable and reliable baseload energy to drive industrialization and economic development.
“With nuclear power, Ghana can significantly increase the contribution of variable renewables such as solar and wind power,” he said.
The workshop was part of a partnership between the NPG and the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) to promote and sustain media involvement through knowledge sharing, and to broaden the reach of information on efforts of Ghana to include nuclear energy as the country’s green energy solution.
The three-day workshop is on the theme: “Nuclear safety, a fear and a concern”.
Ms Bellona-Gerard Vittor-Quao, Public Affairs Officer, NPG, said there was no reason to oppose nuclear power solely on safety or environmental grounds.
She said history had proven nuclear energy to be one of the safest and most efficient energy-generating technologies, adding that misconceptions about nuclear technology had cost the country much more. humanity than the production of nuclear energy itself.
“With nuclear power, the only thing to fear is fear itself.” said Ms. Vittor-Quao.