Nuclear Energy in Ghana
Ghana’s emerging nuclear power programme is the culmination of nearly 60 years of socioeconomic and political developments under successive governments since independence in 1957. As far back as 1961, President Kwame Nkrumah’s government instituted a major atomic policy initiative, the Kwabenya Nuclear Reactor Project. Although the nuclear programme never took off as intended, for both political and economic reasons, the government of Ghana recently decided to renew its commitment to establish a nuclear power programme and use nuclear power to drive economic transformation and development. Today the use of peaceful nuclear technology in these fields – human prosperity and economic development – can play a critical role in helping Ghana achieve its development objectives and targets under the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The best-known peaceful application of nuclear technology is electricity production. Currently, Ghana is pursuing the nuclear power option as part of its energy mix. The future construction of a nuclear power plant to supply electricity, if successful, will enhance national energy security in meeting growing energy demand, mitigate climate change impact, and allow technology transfer. Non-power nuclear energy uses, including radioisotope techniques and ionising radiation applications, already have a positive impact on the lives of millions of Ghanaians. What remains unclear, however, is the progress that has been made in introducing the first nuclear power plant in Ghana. This report aims to contribute to an understanding of Ghana’s nuclear energy sector. It first looks at the country’s electricity situation, and then outlines its nuclear energy evolution. The third section covers Ghana’s normative framework, while the fourth examines its nuclear governance system. This is followed by an overview of Ghana’s uranium sector. The sixth section discusses Ghana’s nuclear power issues, and the seventh highlights non-power nuclear energy applications in the country. The report concludes with a summary of findings and practical recommendations.