Nuclear Energy To Create Sustainable Jobs; Are Ghanaians Ready?

Nuclear energy is rated among the safest, cleanest, and most reliable energy sources with zero carbon emissions compared to fossil fuel, coal, and hydro. It is, therefore, very welcoming for Ghana to be going through processes to establish its nuclear power plant.

A Nuclear Power Plant brings broader investment that benefits local economies.

Nuclear energy projects also involve significant investment and regional infrastructure development, which contributes to economic growth and international exchange.

These projects increase gross domestic product growth in the short and long term and can have a positive impact on local employment, with a higher proportion of jobs being generated near the location of the power plant than is the case with other low-carbon generation.

This energy source has several benefits if successfully implemented. One such benefit, which is the surest guarantee, is the creation of decent and sustainable jobs.

Nuclear sector pay tends to be higher than average, reflecting the specialist skills of the employees.

The construction itself generates thousands of jobs onsite and thousands more in the supply chain while increasing gross domestic product growth in the short and long term.

This can positively impact local employment, with more jobs being generated near the Power Plant location.

With more than 130 countries either committing to or considering a target of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, preparing for how this energy transition will affect the job market is critical.

These jobs being created would have specialised roles for carpenters, electricians, operators of heavy equipment, masons, pipefitters, sheet metal workers, welders, mechanics, and project managers, while professionals like accountants, cybersecurity specialists, communicators, lawyers, subject matter experts, policy analysts and financial managers will be needed in the process.

Other professionals that would be needed in running the plant would include chemists, chemical engineers, radiation protection specialists, reactor operator specialists, nuclear engineers, safety and environmental impact specialists, civil and mechanical engineers.

The construction of this Plant would require several major systems, structures and components like the reactor pressure vessel, pressurizer, and steam generator.

These components in addition to pipelines need to be designed, fabricated, and installed, which will require the services of the workforce mentioned above.
Nuclear energy can contribute to achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goal 8 on decent work and economic growth.

This work can only be done with qualified and certified personnel, therefore, having qualifications in these areas will make one suitable for the jobs.

Experience in the country has shown that most major projects and constructions are done without the engagement of indigenous people in critical areas, simply because they lack the qualifications and certifications to be employed on the projects.

In many cases, contractors are compelled to use the services of expatriates, while the indigenes are engaged for menial works.

It is for these reasons that the Ministry of Energy, Nuclear Power Ghana, and other stakeholders should be concerned about how qualified and certified Ghanaians are in readiness for the construction and operations of Ghana’s Nuclear Power Plant.

Ghanaians need to be encouraged to acquire the necessary trainings to take advantage of these employment opportunities.

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