MInister for Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation ( MESTI) Dr Kwaku Afriyie (MP) has inaugurated the governing board of the Nuclear Regulatory Authority (NRA) today ,Wednesday, 12th October 2022. The seven (7) member board comprising 5 males and 2 females is chaired by Professor Elizabeth Aba Bentil Andam. Other members are Col. Tim Ba-taa-Banah, Prof. Isabella A. Quakyi, Mr. Daniel A.N.N Adumuah, Mr. Ebenezer Appiah-Sampong, Prof. Edward H.K Akaho and Dr. Nii K. Allotey.
MESTI Minister, Dr. Afriyie observed that over the years, the public has been holding certain myths about nuclear energy adding that there was an urgent need to educate the public so as to dispel such wrong notions. “ The ever-growing need for energy to power industries, educational institutions and domestic residences sends strong signals that, the right time had arrived for the country to strategically fuse nuclear energy in its energy generation mix”, he stated.
Dr. Afriyie charged the board to get abreast of emerging new technologies in the nuclear energy space in order to provide appropriate and timely counsel and direction to authorities of the NRA as well as leverage international support from international funding agencies such as the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)and the World Nuclear Association to help expand the country’s nuclear energy infrastructure.
According to the Minister, the board is taking office at a time when there are global uncertainties traversing from economic instability, energy crisis, climate uncertainties, potential food shortage, the unpredictable consequences of the Russian- Ukraine war, insecurity as a result of insurrections in the West Africa sub-region and a myriad of other minor issues which in a large measure affect Ghana.
He however remarked that “nonetheless, we have confidence in the unwavering spirit of the Ghanaian to surmount and overcome challenges no matter how dire they may appear. Our confidence is further fortified and buttressed that, we have assembled here a team of very qualified and competent Ladies and Gentlemen who are poised to help push the country’s nuclear regulatory regime and agenda”.
He recalled that at the just ended 66th General Conference of the IAEA with the theme: “Global Co-operation in the Nuclear Field” which he led Ghana’s delegation to attend, and consequently held some bi-lateral meetings with major stakeholders in the nuclear industry, he realized the hunger for countries seeking to add nuclear energy to their energy generation mix and that Ghana cannot afford to be left behind.
Dr Afriyie indicated that, with the declaration by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo- Addo on Ghana’s inclusion of Nuclear Technology in its Power Generation Mix, it behooves the governing board of the regulatory body (NRA) to initiate pragmatic policies and actions that will best prepare the Authority to effectively deliver on its mandate for the nuclear power programme. “The board should ensure the proper management of the resources of the Authority”, he added.
On behalf of her colleague board members, Board Chairperson, Prof. Andam thanked the president for finding them worthy to be entrusted with a state agency as important as the NRA and pledged that they would approach their work with passion and all the seriousness it deserves emphasizing that, some members were instrumental in the establishment of the NRA and well equipped with a very good understanding of the relevant issues regarding nuclear energy.
The Nuclear Regulatory Authority among other functions and regulatory controls, reviews and evaluates notification by applicants of their intention to undertake activities in the country involving radiation, authorizes practices involving ionizing and non-ionizing radiation sources and devices, inspects nuclear installations and premises where radiological sources and devices are used, and ensures safety and security measures.
The NRA was established by the Nuclear Regulatory Authority Act, 2015 (Act 895).