Uphold integrity and accountability on nuclear power reportage -NPG Boss
Executive Director of Nuclear Power Ghana ( NPG) Dr. Stephen Yamoah has entreated journalists reporting on Ghana’s nuclear power project to exhibit integrity, accountability and professional competence in communication circles to erase misconceptions and fake news about the country’s long-standing nuclear power agenda.
In a survey conducted by National Academy of Sciences in September 2013, it was found that 82% of Americans feel nuclear energy will play an important role in meeting the country’s future electricity needs, and half believe this importance will increase with time. In addition, 84% of respondents favor renewing operating licenses for nuclear power plants that continue to meet federal safety standards, and 77% believe that nuclear power plants operating in the United States are safe and secure, a four percentage point increase from last February.
Despite this, many believe there is no solution for huge amounts of nuclear waste being generated. All of the used nuclear fuel generated in every nuclear plant in the past 50 years would fill a football field to a depth of less than 10 yards, and 96 % of this “waste” can be recycled. Used fuel is currently being safely stored. The U.S. National Academy of Sciences and the equivalent scientific advisory panels in every major country support geological disposal of such wastes as the preferred safe method for their ultimate disposal.
The situation is not different in Ghana as misconceptions about nuclear power continues to gain grounds, requesting a deliberate, concerted efforts and collective responsibility of stakeholders, all and sundry to win the war against fake news about Ghana’s nuclear power project. This though, a daunting task, Nuclear Power Ghana believes collaborating with selected journalists in Ghana will play a crucial role in erasing misconceptions about nuclear, to delivering Ghana’s first nuclear power plant, the next green baseload solution.
Dr. Stephen Yamoah, Executive Director of Nuclear Power Ghana
Ghana has built robust security infrastructure and has gone through peer-reviews towards its first nuclear power plant.
Speaking at at Media Workshop for Regional Managers of GNA and selected Editors at Haphzibah Christian Center, Peduase in Eastern Region on Wednesday 3 August 2022, Executive Director of Nuclear Power Ghana Dr. Stephen Yamoah said “Uphold integrity, and accountability in your reportage on nuclear power project. Be fair in your reportage “.
According to Manager at office of Executive Director of Nuclear Power Ghana Daniel Wordson, commercial-type power reactor cannot explode like a bomb under any circumstances because the fuel is not enriched beyond about 5%. Much higher enrichment is required for explosives”.
Mr. Daniel Wordson, Manager at office of Executive Director of Nuclear Power Ghana
Ghana after long-existing agenda of establishing nuclear power plants as the country’s next green baseload, is making progress. Progress is always a good mark of man. The nation is steadily making progress after fully completing the first phase of the project reffered to as the first milestone.
The nuclear Power Ghana which is obliged to manage the nuclear power project in Ghana is very much aware of the misconceptions out there about nuclear power and is determined to erase that out of people’s minds.
It is against this background that, the Nuclear Power Ghana and stakeholders saw the urgent need to train Journalists on how to report news on nuclear power project to the understanding of the ordinary Ghanaian whilst making frantic efforts to meet targets in consonance with International Atomic Energy Agency standards (IAEA), which will positively make an impact.
Nuclear Power Ghana in partnership with Ghana News Agency ( GNA) are having three days workshop for news Editors and Regional reporters on the theme, ” Nuclear Safety and Environmental Concerns, strengthening public understanding”
The three days workshop started today Wednesday through to Friday. The opening day many of experts sharing ideas and their expertise on the nuclear power project and how relatively safe and cheap it is as compared to other energy options.
Prof. Samuel J.B Nyarko, Board Chairman of Nuclear Power Ghana
In his welcome address, Professor J.B Nyarko spokes about how safe the nuclear power is as compare to other energy options, but misconceptions in the public domain.
Prof.Nyarko admitted that it is a very technical area, but he will encourage Journalists to learn on the field so they can report with creating and panic to help the populace to understand and accept it.
“Bad publicity has affected nuclear power, and we are here to correct that, and to get people to understand the Nuclear Power safety”
He stressed that no industry is immuned from accidents. But the misconceptions about nuclear power has gotten to many.
Professor Nyarko cited example of how tsunami took life of many in a country, before nuclear incident which no life was lost, but people still blame the nuclear power.
He again indicated that it’s the cheapest power producing sector, and Ghanaians must embrace it with positive minds, but Journalists must help with positive reportage.
Prof. Seth K. Debrah, Director of Nuclear Power Institute at Ghana Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC)
Contributing to the debate, Director of Nuclear Power Institute Prof. Seth Debrah said apart from Nuclear Power Ghana (NPG), Nuclear Regulatory Authority (NRA), and Ghana Nuclear Power organisation, Technical and Scientifc Support Organisation is being set up to provide technical support services that employed throughout the various phases.
Meanwhile, Nuclear Regulatory Authority’s (NRA) Director in-charge of Installations Dr. Emmanuel Ampoma-Amoako had revealed the NRA is obliged to develop regulations and guidelines, whilst implementing international obligations of behalf of Ghana.
Source: Jerry John Akornor/Raymond Karvi