By Ruth Carol Atieno

Is Kenya going nuclear? Well definitely yes and this is after Kenya’s nuclear agency submitted impact studies for a $5 billion power plant, and said it’s on target to make and begin operation in about seven years.

According to the report on the National Environment Management Authority’s (NEMA) website, the government is planning to expand Kenya’s nuclear power capacity fourfold by 2035. The document is ready for public scrutiny before the environmental watch dog can approve it, and pave the way for the project to kick start.

President Uhuru Kenyatta wants to revamp installed generation capacity from 2,712 megawatts as of April to improve manufacturing in East Africa’s largest economy. Kenya expects peak demand to top 22,000 megawatts by 2031, partly because of industrial expansion, a component in Kenyatta’s Big Four Agenda.

The report also indicated that the nuclear agency is now assessing technologies to identify the perfect reactor for the country and a site in Tana River County, near the Kenyan coast was preferred after studies across three regions. The plant will be  developed with a concessionaire under a build, operate and transfer model.