The Ho Technical University’s commitment to the nation’s nuclear capabilities and energy development programme has received praise.
The University signed an MoU with Nuclear Power Ghana (NPG) in September 2022 to help provide the needed workforce for Ghana’s nuclear development programme.
Ghana’s nuclear programme was conceived in the 1960s and is being revisited in recent decades by political leaders as the West African powerhouse seeks alternatives to long-drawn hydro energy resources.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s recent declaration of the nation’s nuclear readiness, has lurched the programme to clear the first phase of implementation, and stakeholders are seeding collaboration with educational institutions to build the workforce needed for the project.
Professor Benjamin Nyarko, Board Chairman of the NPG, at an engagement with Faculty and Staff of the University, said the Technical University stood out among institutions in enthusiasm over the project, and that its leadership had shown exceptional committed to the task of providing middle level resources for the “actual job” of running the program.
He said the Technical University had been “very receptive” of the programme, and exhibited “very good collaboration” and that through access to projects and programmes, HTU would become an important training institution.
Prof. Nyarko said Ghana progressed as one of the few countries in Africa to implement a nuclear programme, and that with the disposition of the Technical University, the dream of a nuclear sustainable future could be realised sooner.
The Board Chairman said nuclear energy’s wide range application gave it a top spot in renewable energy considerations, and that the NPG and stakeholders were working to harness it fully for the nation’s development.
Prof. Christopher Mensah, Pro Vice Chancellor of HTU said Management sought an implementation of the MoU considering its importance and looked forward to producing quality resources for the nuclear power program.
“We would like to assure you that the commitment and enthusiasm of the HTU towards the programme have not waned,” he said.
Prof. Seth Debrah, the Director of the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission’s Nuclear Power Institute, said political will, drove the advance of the programme as it would provide a major power base for the nation’s industrial aspirations.
He said Ghana, currently, had reached phase two in terms of nuclear implementation and was working with the International Atomic Energy Agency and countries who have were successful with the programme for safe implementation.
Prof. Debrah also commended the enthusiasm of the University and said Ghana’s position to help enhance nuclear power services on the continent hinged on collaboration with spirited entities like the HTU.
“We need to move the nuclear industry forward,” he said, adding that stakeholders were working to meet set timelines for nuclear power production.
The programme is part of a two-day engagement with faculty and students at the University on the implementation of the MoU, and there were presentations on the present nuclear regime, and the various progresses being made in onboarding nuclear power.
Prof. Debrah said nuclear power was set to diversify the nation’s energy portfolio, and that the highest standards of safety and operations would be implemented.
“We are not saying that when nuclear power comes, all our energy problems will be solved. It gives us a leverage to secure our energy resources.”
He said the first phase implementation included the selection of a preferred site for the first nuclear plant, and the registration of various interests for its construction, and that the program progressed on IAEA milestones.
The engagement provided the opportunity for concerns and input from management and staff, who benefited the needed understanding of the nuclear environment.