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Ghana and the USA collaborate on the deployment of SMR

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Ghana and the USA collaborate | A strategic partnership between the USA, Japan, and Ghana has been launched to facilitate the installation of small modular reactors (SMRs) in the country of West Africa. Ghana might develop into a centre for cutting-edge nuclear technology thanks to the agreement.

Enhanced cooperation to facilitate the implementation of SMR and other advanced reactor technologies in partner nations was announced on October 27 by US Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and Minister of Economy, Trade, and Industry of Japan, Ota Fusae, as well as Bonnie Jenkins. In a smart, cost-effective, and secure manner, the announcement, Winning an Edge Through Cooperation in Advanced Nuclear (WECAN), reaffirms Japan and the USA’s commitments to energy innovation, energy security, and the global transition to clean energy. This is done by advancing the most recent technology and establishing commercial leadership in emerging technologies that produce stable, dependable electricity and industrial heat.

Support under WECAN may take the form of feasibility studies, as well as the required technical and regulatory help that these nations need to explore novel nuclear technologies that enhance access to clean, dependable energy and support climate goals.

Ghana and the USA

The USA and Japan announced a collaboration with Ghana to promote Ghana’s desire to be a first mover in SMR deployment in Africa and to develop itself as a hub for advanced nuclear technology as a first step toward strengthening cooperation under WECAN.

Following consultations on strengthening collaboration on civil nuclear energy with the government of Ghana, US Deputy Secretary of Energy David Turk and an interagency team, including the State Department, visited Ghana from October 6 to 8.

The Government Of Ghana

As a first step, the government of Japan is funding an SMR feasibility study that will be carried out in conjunction with the government of Ghana through its agencies Nuclear Power Ghana, Nuclear Regulatory Authority, and the Nuclear Power Institute of the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission by Japanese and US industry, including IHI Corporation, JGC Corporation, Regnum Technology Group, and NuScale Power.

The study will investigate supply chain opportunities in the Ghanaian market as well as potential deployment of a NuScale VOYGR SMR nuclear power station, including assessments of the current infrastructure.

The parties underlined that US export constraints and Ghanaian nuclear regulations both apply to collaboration to assist the deployment of SMRs in Ghana. They also pointed out that the Ghanaian government has the last say in whether technologies are used in Ghana.

In March of this year, the US Department of State’s Foundational Infrastructure for Responsible Use of Small Modular Reactor Technology (FIRST) programme and Ghana announced their collaboration to encourage Ghana’s adoption of SMR technology.

As partner nations grow their nuclear energy programmes to meet clean energy goals in accordance with the highest international standards for nuclear Safety And Security,  and non-proliferation, FIRST offers capacity-building support. FIRST was launched by the Department of State in April 2021.

The programme will help Ghana implement SMR technology by providing assistance with stakeholder involvement, cutting-edge technical collaboration, project evaluation, and project planning.

The International Atomic Energy Agency’s Milestones Approach, a stepwise approach designed to aid nations considering or developing their first nuclear power station, has already been accepted by Ghana.

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