The energy expert told Ekow Mensah-Shalders on Class91.3fm’s Executive Breakfast Show Thursday that despite the tsunami-triggered meltdown and leakage of nuclear elements into the atmosphere in Japan in March 2011, the nuclear option was still a safer and more efficient alternative.
“How many nuclear plants have you heard have a problem? Just one,” he said to buttress his point, wondering: “What is going to be our solution in the long term? To me, I’ve always said that they should look at nuclear.”
According to him, “the UK is going to build a nuclear plant [and] guess who is going to build it and operate it? The Chinese and the French, he answered.
“…If Ghana decides to go nuclear, it is not Ghanaians that are going to manage it, because the Japanese have been using nuclear for so many years.
“In America now, nuclear is what they are doing; now because it is so expensive to build the government is basically the one funding most of these nuclear plants. What you need is a plan to start with. Let’s do a feasibility, without the feasibility, you are not able to say whether you can or cannot do it, and if we do the feasibility then we can now decide where we can put it…and how much we need to do it,” Mr Poku added.
Currently, as part of measures to address the on-going power supply challenges, Finance Minister Seth Terkper told Parliament this month when he presented the 2016 budget that installation works are progressing steadily on the 250-MW Ameri and 225-MW Karpower projects and are expected to be commissioned before the end of the year.
Also, work on the 220-MW Kpone Thermal Power Project is on course and is expected to be commissioned for operations before the end of the year.
Additionally, work on the 110-MW TICO expansion is complete and commencement of commercial operations is expected in 2016, the Government said.
“Furthermore, installation works on the 360-MW Sunon Asogli expansion project is ongoing,” Mr Terkper said, adding: “The first phase with an installed capacity of 180MW is to be commissioned by the end of the year, whilst the second phase of another 180MW would be completed in 2016, and the Volta River Authority’s (VRA) expansion of the existing Siemens plant (49.5MW) by the addition of 38MW is 90 percent complete.”
“In 2015, a total of 272 solar systems were installed in public facilities including schools and community centres located in remote communities. A total of 375 solar systems were also rehabilitated in remote health facilities (CHP compounds) in 23 districts. Government in 2016 will continue its investment in the sector to further address to the power challenges,” Mr Terkper said.
But Mr Poku, however, says nuclear options started by Ghana’s first president Dr Kwame Nkrumah, which have been “ignored”, should be revisited and infused into the generation mix as part of efforts to finding a lasting solution to the power crisis.