Ghana-US to deepen cooperation on nuclear safety, regulation


The Chairman of the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (USNRC), Christopher T. Hanson, has led a team from the commission to visit the Nuclear Regulatory Authority (NRA) to interact with the management and staff.

The two-day working visit was also to reaffirm the commission’s commitment to continue close cooperation on nuclear safety and regulation with the country.

As part of the visit, the Director-General of NRA, Dr Nii Kwashie Allotey, led a NRA-USNRC delegation to the Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, Dr Kwaku Afriyie, and a Deputy Minister of Energy, William Owuraku-Aidoo.

They discussed the significant strides made in radiological regulation and nuclear safety regulation and also explored opportunities to further strengthen the bilateral relationship between the two establishments.

Mr Hanson commended staff of NRA for ensuring regulations, safety and the secure use of nuclear power and radioactive materials.

He said their visit was also to build and reinforce their relationship as the country explored nuclear power for its energy needs, as well as the expansion in the use of radioactive materials for medical, agricultural and industrial purposes.

“We are pleased to support the NRA on its journey since 2016, and we are very impressed with the progress they have made towards becoming strong and technically competent independent regulator that the country needs,” Mr Hanson said.

He said the US had been in the nuclear power business since the 1950s and 60s and had learnt lessons in the inspection processes, licensing, safety and technology.

Mr Hanson, however, said there was the need for nuclear regulators to ensure transparency, public trust and acceptance by demonstrating independence from advocacy positions.

“The NRC does that within the context of the US government.

We think that our partners around the world should have that relationship as well.

“To ensure transparency, we do everything in the full view of the public with exception of some security issues.

“All our meetings, documents, decisions and commission meetings are in full view of the public so they can understand how we are making our safety decisions,” Mr Hanson added.

He said the USNRC fundamentally had a mission to build strong independent and technically confident nuclear, safety and security regulators around the world to promote safety.

Dr Allotey thanked the USNRC Chair and his team for their visit.

He expressed the commitment of his outfit to continue to partner them to build their capacity.