Radiation and nuclear science to be added to the basic school curriculum

Plans are in place to add radiation and nuclear science to the basic school curriculum as part of larger initiatives to increase knowledge and influence public opinion.

This is in response to a perception survey that was carried out by the Institute of Statistical Social and Economic Research, which revealed a dearth of information regarding nuclear and radiation research and technology.

In order to forward the nation’s industrialization goals, Ghana is constructing and running its first nuclear power plant; the project’s success depends on how the public views nuclear energy.

At a workshop in Accra for editors and senior media professionals, Dr. Archibold Buah-Kwofie, Deputy Director, Nuclear Power Institute, informed the Ghana News Agency.

In light of the nation’s efforts to diversify its energy sources, he said it was critical to close the knowledge gap in nuclear technology.

He noted that efforts to incorporate the subject into the curriculum were ongoing, and that a draught curriculum had been prepared.

“It is useful to include nuclear at the level of basic education so that people coming out of basic education will have some level of knowledge about what radiation signs is.

“A lot of people don’t know that the X-Ray we take at the hospital is radiation. There are a lot of important uses of radiation that we need to know and understand,” Dr Buah-Kwofie said.

He added: “If we are going to be a nuclear country, we need to ensure that we have a sustainable supply of human resource and the earlier they understand the uses of radiation and what we can get out of them, the better.”

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Dr Buah-Kwofie said the Nuclear Power Ghana (NPG) had also signed partnerships with some tertiary institutions, including the University of Media, Arts and Communication, Ho Technical University, and Takoradi Technical University, to roll out general basic nuclear radiation signs in their programmes.

Dr Stephen Yamoah, the Executive Director, NPG, urged journalists to be accurate, factual, and use verified information in their reportage on nuclear to prevent misinformation on the subject.

“The discussions on nuclear power should emphasise its immense transformational socio-economic benefits, while also addressing concerns related to safety, waste management, security, and safeguards,” he said.

Ghana’s nuclear programme has been justified on the need for alternate baseload power for industrialisation, limited hydro sources, postulated decline of gas, tariff reduction for industries, desalination, employment creation and climate change commitments.

As of 2021, hydro accounted for 38 per cent of the country’s energy generation portfolio whiles thermal accounted for 60 per cent (making it the baseload).

Solar and biomas contributed one per cent each to the energy mix.

The cost of power from thermal sources has alarmed experts, and if the nation does not switch to less expensive energy sources, there is risk that electricity rates may keep rising.

Electricity rates are projected to account for 40% of industry production costs.

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