Accra, Ghana – U.S. Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for International Security and Nonproliferation Ann Ganzer announced new civil nuclear cooperation to further support Ghana’s safe and secure use of nuclear power, including establishing Ghana as a small modular reactor (SMR) regional hub. The announcements were made at the Africa Nuclear Business Platform meeting in Accra, Ghana on May 28.

SMRs can provide 24/7 reliable power, complement other clean energy sources, have flexible siting requirements, and use a small land area. U.S. SMRs incorporate advanced safety features, including designs to withstand extreme weather and seismic events, and can be tailored to match the specific needs of a country’s power grid, with the ability to scale up as needed. Importantly, SMRs can play a critical role in decarbonizing nonelectric sectors, such as industry and transportation.

Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for International Security and Nonproliferation Ann Ganzer joins industry and government representatives at the MOU signing ceremony (May 28, 2024)

Joined by U.S. Charge d’Affaires Rolf Olson, PDAS Ganzer attended the signing of key arrangements facilitated by the U.S. Foundational Infrastructure for the Responsible Use of Small Modular Reactor Technology (FIRST) Program, to advance the safe and secure deployment of a U.S. SMR in Ghana:

  • Memorandum of Understanding and Contractual Arrangements for the Provision of the NuScale Energy Exploration (E2) Center and related services at GAEC. The documents, signed by GAEC and ISTC and by GAEC, ISTC and NuScale, respectively, advance Ghana’s technical readiness for SMR technology. The deployment of a NuScale E2 Center in Ghana — a first for the African continent — will be a key tool for preparing the workforce for SMR deployment in Ghana and beyond.
  • The E2 Center, a simulator of NuScale Power’s SMR control room funded by the FIRST Program, will provide a hands-on training facility to develop and train the next generation nuclear operators and engineers.
  • It will also establish Ghana as a regional educational and training hub for the next stage of safe and secure civil nuclear deployments in Africa, consistent with International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)’s Milestones Approach and nonproliferation standards.
  • Memorandum of Understanding for a Regional Welding Certification Program between the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC) and the International Science and Technology Center (ISTC), which will provide essential training and a unique skillset to enable Ghanaian technicians to qualify for construction jobs in the nuclear energy sector. Funded by the FIRST Program, this certification program will help to establish Ghana as part of a safe and secure SMR supply chain in the region.

In conjunction with these significant developments, the Government of Ghana represented by Nuclear Power Ghana is working on a cooperation agreement with the project developer Regnum Technology Group LLC to develop an industrial enclave utilizing NuScale SMR nuclear power plant as its main source of energy. The U.S. government strongly supports the deployment of NuScale’s technology through Regnum Technology Group as a project developer in Ghana and looks forward to seeing the conclusion of this agreement.

The United States is also currently in negotiations with Ghana for a peaceful nuclear cooperation agreement (or 123 agreement) and looks forward to concluding negotiations to enable closer cooperation in this important field.

Today’s announcements build on the U.S., Japan, and Ghana commitment announced at the 2022 International Atomic Energy Agency Nuclear Power Ministerial to work together to support Ghana’s intent to be the first operator of SMRs in Africa and build jobs through workforce development to support future SMR supply chain needs. The United States is committed to enabling the use of innovative clean energy technologies to enhance global access to zero emission, reliable 24/7 power and to support sustainability, energy security, and climate goals.

Source: U.S Embassy Ghana

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