Parliamentary committee visits Ghana Atomic Energy Commission

Ghana Atomic Energy Commission22 February 2014, Accra – The Director-General of the Atomic Energy Commission, GAEC, Prof. Benjamin Nyarko, has urged Parliament to pass the Nuclear Power Regulations Bill into Law.

The passage of the Law, which has already been approved by cabinet, Prof. Nyarko said, was required by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to enable the IAEA support the GAEC to pursue its Nuclear Power Infrastructural Development Programme.

Furthermore, Prof, Nyarko said, the GAEC required seed capital for the purchase of equipment for research and development and for commercialisation.

He also called on government to support the Commission in a land dispute involving encroachers who have taken over more than 30 per cent of the Commission’s lands.

He was speaking at a meeting in Accra, yesterday, with members of the Parliamentary Select Committee on the Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation.

Leading the delegation were the Chairman of the Committee, Hon. Edem Asimah and the Ranking Member, Francis Ameyedowo who pledged to support the efforts of the GAEC to push forward the agenda of nuclear power development.

The GAERC was established by an Act of Parliament–The Ghana Atomic Energy Act, 1963 (Act 204) and was subsequently amended by Act 588 of 2000.

The functions of GAEC include advising government on issues relating to the peaceful use of nuclear energy in Ghana; advising the state on its obligation in the fields of nuclear energy, safety, security and environmental protection; encouraging and promoting the commercialisation of research and development results through its Institutes; and the development of the human resource base in nuclear science, biotechnology and related fields.

Some of the Institutes under the Commission are the National Nuclear Research Institute (NNRI); Radiation Protection Institute (RPI); Biotechnology and Nuclear Agriculture Research Institute (BNARI); and the Graduate School of Nuclear and Allied Sciences (SNAS).

The others are the Radiology and Medical Sciences Research Institute (RAMSI) and the Ghana Space Science and Technology Institute (GSSTI).

With the overthrow of the Nkrumah administration in 1966, the Nuclear Reactor Project was abandoned until 1972, under the Acheampong administration, when the project was revived, upon recommendation by the Oteng Committee, but is currently not being vigorously pursued due to lack of funds.

In its present state of affairs, the GAEC supports industries in the Energy, Agriculture, Mining Telecommunications, Import and Export, Food and Beverage Oil and Gas, Construction, Health and Water sectors.
*Press release

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