ACCRA, Ghana has again made history by being the first African country to successfully undergo a nuclear research reactor conversion from a Highly Enriched Uranium (HEU) sensitive fuel to a Lower Enriched Uranium (LEU) sensitive one.
The conversion, which was performed by a joint team of scientists from the United States Security Department and China, saw the installation of a new nuclear research reactor core to replace the old one which had outlived its expiry date.
Professor Kwame Aboh, the Deputy Director-General of Ghana’s Nuclear Regulatory Authority, and Project Director of the Reactor Conversion Programme, expressed joy and satisfaction at the success of the conversion and installation carried out last Friday.
He explained that the previous set-up, was enriched with as high as 92.2 per cent uranium, which made it very dangerous, and very useful for the manufacture of dangerous weapons should they fall into the wrong hands.
However, with the new LEU research reactor, the enrichment level had been lowered to 13 per cent uranium, and now highly safe to perform the same functions as the previous one, except for the manufacturing of dangerous weapons, and had a fuel expectancy of more thanr 25 years.
He said the entire process was very historic and a great relief to the country, because the previous research reactor which was installed in 1994 had been operated for the past 21 years, and exceeded its uranium fuel expiry which was supposed to be between 10 to 15 years and therefore needed to be upgraded.
Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK