5-day national workshop to equip TSOs for NPG programme held in Accra
In implementing Ghana’s nuclear power programme, activities, including coordinating licensing and technical reviews are associated with the overall project management for operating nuclear power plant. Management of areas of workload planning for the office’s operations, new reactor workload, the beyond-design-basis event assessments, operating and new reactor licensing processes, such as topical reports and other special support services are crucial. This serves as point-of-contact and provides an overall liaison with vendors, industry players, owner’s groups, AGI and others.
In a bid to equip Technical Support Organisations (TSOs) for the tasks ahead of achieving Ghana’s first nuclear power plant, the Nuclear Power Ghana (NPG) in partnership with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has organised a national capacity building workshop for TSOs to enable them render standard, relevant and timely support services to the programme/project in line with IAEA protocols.
According to Executive Director of Nuclear Power Ghana (NPG) Dr. Stephen Yamoah, the workshop seeks to provide a broad based fulcrum for knowledge, contacts sharing, links to individuals, experts, organisations whilst paving ways for be onwards establishment and strengthening of relationships with stakeholders and IAEA to follow-up rules of engagement.
Speaking after 5-day national workshop on Technical Support Organisations (TSOs) development for Nuclear Power Ghana programme/project held at the School of Nuclear and Allied Sciences in Accra-Ghana on Friday 9 September 2022, Executive Director of Nuclear Power Ghana (NPG) Dr. Stephen Yamoah said “There is urgent need for stakeholders including NPG, Nuclear Regulatory Authority (NRA), Ghana Nuclear Power Programme Organisation (GNPPO), Technical and Scientific Support Organisations to scale up efforts towards the achievement of Ghana’s first nuclear power plant”.
Participants were taken capacity building. This includes development of skills, competencies, identify gaps, sharing with peers, learning, curve and performance gap analysis to improve nuclear power-related outcomes. Apart from that, the workshop sought to strengthen cooperation and communication toward Ghana’s nuclear power project. This implies total cohesion among stakeholders, public communication devoid of isolation and synergies. Central to the discourse was also the need to take participants and stakeholders through Ghana’s nuclear power strategies being mapped up and planning. This implies funding, costs, roadmap, self assessment, benchmarking, and development programme. It is important to anchor the point that, the totality of all of these is to achieve international cooperation, a crucial factor for progress. This seeks to give birth to Memorandum of understanding (MOU), key partnerships for meetings, workshops and knowledge acquisition.
The workshop was organised days after Ghana’s President Akufo-Addo declared the country’s avowed commitment to adding nuclear power plant as alternative source of energy mix. According to NPG’s Executive Director, Dr. Stephen Yamoah, the latest declaration of the Ghaianan Leader Akufo-Addo, is a positive one. He noted that “Ghana’s preferred nuclear power plant site ranking has been done with report being drafted for action. Labs and research institutions are being required whilst creating partnerships with industry players”.
At the end of the workshop, African Editors interacted with some participants to sum up their assessments after the 5-days. Manager, Nuclear Energy Planning Center at Ghana Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC) Dr. Felix Ameyaw expressed confidence that “the president has declared that we are going nuclear, there are three institutions involved…the regulator, TSO and NPG. What the TSO does is to support the regulator, and as to how to go about it, that’s the reason for this workshop. Developing human resource, the functions and roles, funding implementing, operations of Technical Support Organisations. We’ve already been organising ourselves as TSOs, so we’ve some expertise and we need build the new strategies to support not only the NRA and NPG but others.
Another participant, Assistant Research Scientist at Nuclear Regulatory Authority (NRA) Edward Essel Blankson said “the 5-days have been interesting, I’m comimg from the NRA, our work is to write and draft regulations and guidelines for the power sector. I came in with the view that are there gaps to fill in terms of regulations to improve upon. After the 5-days we’ve learnt a lot, we’re going to review our regulations to suit purpose.
Assistant Research Scientist and Environmental Officer at Nuclear Regulatory Authority Linda Sarpong noted that “there so many key areas that we discussed here and we have some documents already and we are going back to look at what we’ve done to do gap analysis for improvement. We’ll re-look at what we’ve done to check if the competency level has taken care of all other areas.
Nuclear Power Ghana’s Nuclear Safety and Licensing Officer Ing. Johnathan Blankson sums it up when he said “establishment of TSO is a key element of nuclear power programme. We have discussed the roadmap for having out own internal support to run effective organisation. To a very large extent, I will say expectations have been met because the main task for the workshop is how to set up our internal technical support organisation. There rests are lots of work ahead of us”.
Source: Jerry John Akornor
Prof. Seth K. Debrah, Director of Nuclear Power Institute presenting during national workshop on establishing TSO for Ghana Nuclear Power Programme held at Sch of Nuclear & Allied Sciences in GAEC, Accra-Ghana on Friday September 9, 2022.
Dr. Stephen Yamoah, Executive Director of Nuclear Power Ghana presenting during national workshop on establishing TSO for Ghana Nuclear Power Programme held at Sch of Nuclear & Allied Sciences in GAEC, Accra-Ghana on September Friday 9, 2022.
Source: Jerry John Akornor