Ghana converts nuclear reactor into an LEU

The conversion, which was done with the assistance of the China Institute of Atomic Energy (CIAE), puts Ghana on the path toward generating power using nuclear rector.

The process involved replacing the original core of the reactor which has 90.2 percent uranium enrichment with one that is below 20 percent.

The nuclear rector has been useful for the nation as a number of students have used if for their Masters and PhDs, the director of the Nuclear Research Institute of Ghana, Francis Ofosu, has said.

"With the completion of the conversion, a major hurdle has been cleared and our research is back into full operation," he told China's Xinhua.

Diplomatic ties

"This is another achievement we have chalked in our bilateral cooperation," China's Ambassador to Ghana Sun Baohong said.

"It is a good day because it is the start of another opportunity in our cooperation. China and Ghana are longstanding friends and we have carried out a lot of cooperation in all fronts and nuclear energy; we have carried out cooperation for 25 years," Xinhua quoted her as saying.

She said the programme was significant it opens a new channel of cooperation between Ghana and China in the area of science and technology.

"This program is very significant to the global non-proliferation undertaking. It is also significant to enrich our cooperation in science and technology. And it is also very important for the further steps of Ghana to engage in peaceful use of atomic energy and in this context I firmly believe that it has opened a new window for our cooperation," Sun said.

Ghana cooperated very closely with China on the technical front and also financial assistance for the whole project, Kweku Aning, Chairman of the Governing Council of Ghana Atomic Energy Commission said.

"We've been cooperating very closely with China on the technical front and also financial assistance for the whole project. We are appreciative that now the conversion is finished and today we would put power in the thing as a way of beginning the whole process of application of this technology," he said.

He added: "Our cooperation with China in the area of nuclear has been very beneficial, especially for research, for training and also support for industry, nuclear security and other issues so they have helped us move from Highly-Enriched Uranium (HEU) to Lower Enriched Uranium (LEU)."


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