Evaluating Ghana‟s Regulatory Readiness for Safe Nuclear Power Generation Using International Law and Comparative Study Approaches

ABSTRACT

The National Nuclear Research Institute of the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC) has over 16 years experience and good safety record in operating a 30kW Chinese-built tank-in-pool Miniature Neutron Source Reactor for research since 1995. Ghana however does not have a nuclear power plant. In 2007, Ghana officially expressed to the IAEA an interest in deploying a nuclear power plant to form part of the electricity grid to assist her achieve economic growth targets. Nuclear power requires effective regulatory regime that conforms to international nuclear laws on siting, design, construction, commissioning, operation (and decommissioning) of nuclear facilities to protect public health, safety, and the environment. This thesis reviews the sufficiency of Ghana‘s nuclear regulatory regime in dealing with these issues vis-à-vis international legal instruments and five (5) other countries‘ practices, and how any gaps in the legal system may be addressed. The research question is: to what extent is Ghana‘s nuclear power safety regulatory framework effective? It explores whether safety regulatory effectiveness is measurable, and if yes, what should be the main elements of such measurement in Ghana? The hypothesis tested by this question is that effectiveness of Ghana‘s nuclear energy safety regulatory framework is best measured by using a two-pronged nuclear regulation concept: (1) the ―3S‖ concept (i.e., safety, security, and safeguards) and (2) liability and compensation for nuclear and radiological damage. It also examines: (a) whether risk-informed self-regulation is appropriate for Ghana; and (b) what regulatory option on liability and compensation for nuclear damage best suits Ghana? The hypotheses tested in relation to the subsidiary research questions respectively are that risk-informed self-regulation is utilized in Ghana‘s nuclear sector to effectively complement broad prescriptions; and the liability for nuclear damage in Ghana is best based on torts and insurance. The main method used to address the research questions and test the hypotheses is a case study of the regulatory framework effectiveness of GAEC and Radiation Protection Board (RPB) using legislation study, questionnaires and in-depth interviews. GAEC and RPB were selected for the case studies because of their respective legally mandated nuclear promotion and radiation protection functions. Scoping studies, case studies, literature reviews, analyses of international and comparative law, legislation, subsidiary legislation and common law, and a thematic analysis of the information assembled were also utilized in this study. The substantive content of nuclear norms, laws, principles, practices and performance indicators of nuclear energy regulation were identified, assessed, and synthesized in this thesis to provide an apt framework for conducting a composite evaluation of Ghana‘s readiness for effective nuclear power safety regulation. Research findings include: (1) Ghana‘s few existing nuclear energy laws are deficient and none is on nuclear power; (2) efforts to develop a nuclear legal regime are ongoing; (3) GAEC has good safety record in using research reactor for extensive public services; (4) evaluating nuclear energy regulatory effectiveness, often conceptually focuses on the institutionalized regulatory body‘s operations; (5) such a conceptual approach is narrow and may omit other key actors and factors in nuclear energy regulation including the public, environment, operators, liability regimes; (6) a two-pronged “3S”+liability nuclear energy regulation gauge covering safety, security, safeguards and liability for nuclear damage offers a safety-led (concentric cycle, not a Venn linked) comprehensive basis for evaluation; (7) each of the four elements has well-tested conceptual and analytical framework norms for evaluating regulatory effectiveness; (8) for over six decades, international law and several States treat many of the four elements discretely; (9) Ghana‘s nuclear regulation does not tackle all the regulatory elements vital for nuclear power regulatory effectiveness; (10) Ghana‘s applicable legal rules on an act of God causing nuclear damage (e.g. Rylands v. Fletcher applicability) is unclear; (11) for effective regulation the regulator, operator, licensees, government, public, and relevant collaborators must all be seen to influence and contribute to a safety and security conscious nuclear industry; (12) regulatory effectiveness requires both direct and indirect normative and performance indicators; and (13) regulatory readiness is an endless continuum of a sufficient and effective safety culture regime

Subscribe to access this work and thousands more
Overall Rating

0

5 Star
(0)
4 Star
(0)
3 Star
(0)
2 Star
(0)
1 Star
(0)
APA

Manteaw, S (2021). Evaluating Ghana‟s Regulatory Readiness for Safe Nuclear Power Generation Using International Law and Comparative Study Approaches. Afribary. Retrieved from https://afribary.com/works/evaluating-ghana-s-regulatory-readiness-for-safe-nuclear-power-generation-using-international-law-and-comparative-study-approaches

MLA 8th

Manteaw, Samuel "Evaluating Ghana‟s Regulatory Readiness for Safe Nuclear Power Generation Using International Law and Comparative Study Approaches" Afribary. Afribary, 25 Mar. 2021, https://afribary.com/works/evaluating-ghana-s-regulatory-readiness-for-safe-nuclear-power-generation-using-international-law-and-comparative-study-approaches. Accessed 18 Jul. 2024.

MLA7

Manteaw, Samuel . "Evaluating Ghana‟s Regulatory Readiness for Safe Nuclear Power Generation Using International Law and Comparative Study Approaches". Afribary, Afribary, 25 Mar. 2021. Web. 18 Jul. 2024. < https://afribary.com/works/evaluating-ghana-s-regulatory-readiness-for-safe-nuclear-power-generation-using-international-law-and-comparative-study-approaches >.

Chicago

Manteaw, Samuel . "Evaluating Ghana‟s Regulatory Readiness for Safe Nuclear Power Generation Using International Law and Comparative Study Approaches" Afribary (2021). Accessed July 18, 2024. https://afribary.com/works/evaluating-ghana-s-regulatory-readiness-for-safe-nuclear-power-generation-using-international-law-and-comparative-study-approaches

Document Details
Samuel Obeng Manteaw Field: Law Type: Thesis 306 PAGES (100610 WORDS) (pdf)