Ghana Atomic Energy Commission, a global leader in nuclear research

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GHANA’S Vice-President Mahamudu Bawumia has commended the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC) for its cutting edge research and training.

Speaking at the launch of three research facilities at the GAEC, Bawumia noted that Ghana is committed to global efforts to ensure the responsible use of nuclear technology and that the country will continue to uphold international treaties guiding their use.

In August 2017, Ghana became the first country outside China to successfully complete the conversion of this reactor type, and the GAEC has been training scientists from other countries to convert theirs.

Bawumia said: ‘High-enriched-uranium-fuelled research reactors could become potential source material for nuclear weapons. The threat of terrorism legitimises this concern, and the solution worldwide, underpinned by the principles of non-proliferation, is to convert all highly enriched uranium-fuelled research reactors to low enriched uranium-fuelled research reactors.

‘In this regard, Ghanaian scientists in collaboration with Scientists and Experts from the Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) and Idaho National Laboratory (INL) of the United States Department of Energy (US DoE), the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and China Institute of Atomic Energy, undertook the process of converting our high-enriched uranium fuel reactor to low-enriched uranium fuel one.

‘By this feat, Ghana received an outstanding performance award from the National Nuclear Security Administration, Department of Energy of the United States of America.’

Three research facilities

The Vice-President gave made the remarks when he commissioned a Low-Enriched Uranium Core Research Reactor; International Miniature Neutron Source Reactor Training Facility; and the Laboratory Building for the Radiological and Medical Sciences Research Institute of GAEC at Kwabenya, Accra.

He further revealed that three months ago government released funding to support the site selection process for the establishment of a nuclear power plant to generate electricity.

‘Cabinet has also approved the setting up of an organisation to oversee the construction and operation of Ghana’s first nuclear power plant and believe it will also help our quest to achieve some of the sustainable development goals, specifically, good health and well-being, as well as quality education, which will transform our world,’ Bawumia said.

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