Kenya’s Nuclear Power and Energy Agency (NuPEA) has launched a strategic plan to guide the construction of its first nuclear power plant over the next five years.

NuPEA’s 2023–2027 Strategic Plan identifies six areas of focus: nuclear infrastructure development; stakeholder engagement and advocacy; energy research and innovation; energy capacity development; research reactor programme; and institutional sustainability. This builds on the 2020–2025 Strategic Plan, which led to the progression of Kenya’s nuclear power development programme to phase II on the International Atomic Energy Agency’s Milestone Approach, NuPEA chairman Ezra Odhiambo said in the plan.

The new plan takes into account Kenya’s national development agenda and environmental analysis.

Under NuPEA, the country’s first nuclear power plant is due to be constructed by 2034 and a research reactor commissioned by the early 2030s. The power plant is set to be constructed in the counties of Kilifi and Kwale, while land has been cordoned off 64km south of Nairobi at the Konza Technopolis technology hub for the research reactor.

Preparation for the construction of the first power plant will begin in 2029, with operations commencing in 2030 or 2031.

NuPEA said: “Today marks the beginning of yet another journey towards the development of the nuclear power programme in Kenya as Nuclear Power and Energy Agency launches its Strategic Plan 2023–2027. During this period, the Agency is committed to implement and execute the strategies to ensure the country is ready to commence the construction of the first nuclear power plant.

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“In energy research and development and capacity building, the Agency has identified nuclear energy research, nuclear research reactor, human and institutional capacity development, establishment of an energy research centre as key strategic issues for this plan period.”

The agency estimates that it will need around Ks36.2bn ($273m) to implement the initiatives set out in the plan.