A research by the Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER) of the University of Ghana has revealed that majority of firms believe nuclear energy should be introduced in Ghana’s electricity generation mix as it is cheaper than other energy sources.
Dr. Simon Bawakyillenuo, a research fellow with the institute, presenting the findings to stakeholders in Accra, said of about 200 firms surveyed across the country, 75 percent endorsed the country’s plans to generate nuclear power.
Moreover, a great number of the firms—92 percent—said they were aware that nuclear energy can be used to generate electricity.
“These firms, who have been in business for more than 10 years and mostly relied on the national grid for electricity, also said nuclear power is safe,” said Dr. Bawakyillenuo.
While industries support nuclear power generation, the research also revealed that majority of households do not have any knowledge of nuclear power, with the few who had such knowledge being urban residents mostly.
“Interestingly, those who have knowledge about it are those below the age of 30 years, falling within the youth bracket,” Dr. Bawakyillenuo said.
Compared to other educational level categories, he said a greater proportion of tertiary degree holders think that nuclear energy can be used to generate electricity, with the proportion reducing as the educational attainment reduces.
The research also found that many individuals held negative perceptions about nuclear energy.
Dr. Bawakyillenuo quoted a survey respondent from the Western Region, for instance, as saying: “I only know that there are a lot of dangers associated with the use of nuclear plants. Typical examples are the nuclear disasters that occurred in Ukraine and Fukushima, Japan, in the 70s.”
According to Dr. Bawakyillenuo, the negative perception about nuclear power needs to be addressed in order to make its implementation in Ghana a success.
This should be helped by the fact that a very high number of people indicated their willingness to learn more about nuclear power, he added.