In Kenya, officials are facing a difficult situation. They risk either running out of electricity for their citizens or having terrorists take over a critical nuclear power plant.
Last April, four fighters from the terrorist organization al-Shabaab killed 148 people at Garissa University in northeast Kenya. Additionally, in September of 13, this same organization killed 67 in a mall in the country’s capital city of Nairobi.
Clearly the country is having a hard time protecting its citizens from terrorist attacks.
Now, the country might make itself more vulnerable by starting a nuclear power program. The country has already received approval from the International Atomic Energy Agency.
According to Kenyan officials, by the year 2030, the country will require an extremely large amount of electricity in order to supply its citizens with power. Electricity experts in Kenya say that current facilities will not be able to meet the future demand.
Making matters worse is that widespread and frequent droughts are causing critical hydroelectric plants to fail to function. In Kenya, more than 50% of all electricity currently comes from hydroelectric power plants.
Meanwhile, the country can only make so much use of geothermal power. And solar facilities in the country aren’t yet up to par.
Leading Kenyan energy official Joseph Nioroge said, “We have no option but to embrace nuclear early enough to avoid starting the process long after we have exhausted geothermal sources.”
However, utilizing nuclear energy would leave the door wide open for a terrorist group to seize control of a nuclear power plant. If they gain access to the plant’s core, they could use the technology to develop nuclear weapons.
For now, it is unknown what the al-Shabaab group is planning. Many experts suspect that the terrorist organization is laying low and waiting for the best opportunity to conduct a major attack.
However, some people believe that Kenya can adequately protect a nuclear power facility.
Security expert Nicolas Kasprzyk said, “Clearly more needs to be done to fight this situation with al-Shabaab. How can you build trust in your nuclear program if you’re perceived as not managing to contain the terror threat?”