23 June 2015, Abuja – Nigeria’s first ever nuclear power plants with capacity to generate 2,400 megawatts (MW) will be sited at Geregu, Kogi and Itu, Akwa Ibom States by the Federal Government, the Nigeria Atomic Energy Commission (NAEC) has said.
NAEC stated recently in Abuja that both sites had been selected for the construction of the two nuclear power plants after due considerations, adding that the areas were accepted fit to host the nuclear power facilities.
Chairman of NAEC, Mr. Erepamo Osaisai disclosed in a presentation during a plenary session to appraise the second phase of Nigeria’s Integrated Nuclear Infrastructure Review (INIR) in Abuja that part of the progress made so far with the nuclear power plant programme was the conclusion of the preliminary site selection activities.
Osaisai also said that detailed evaluation and characterisation would be conducted on preferred sites on the approval of government in Geregu, Ajaokuta local government area of Kogi State and Itu in Itu local government area of Akwa Ibom State.
NAEC had entered talks with Russia’s Rosatom Corporation to build four nuclear power plants in Nigeria, costing about $20 billion (about N3.9 trillion) and which is expected to generate as much as 4,800MW.
Erepamo, however said the plants would be co-financed by Rosatom, which will then build, own, operate and transfer (BOT) them to the government.
He explained that the preliminary licensing of the approved sites is expected by the end of 2016 from the Nigerian Nuclear Regulatory Authority (NNRA) which has started the process of developing the licenses.
NAEC, however, noted that training and capacity building for the construction and operation of the plants are ongoing and that it has developed a framework to establish a national nuclear insurance policy and schem will adequately address the civil liability component of the nuclear power industry in conformity with the 1963 Vienna Convention on Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage.
Erepamo explained that the nuclear power programme will involve a large number of obligations and commitments, adding that while it will add to Nigeria’s energy generation profile, the first nuclear power plants will take up to eight years to come to stream considering the construction period of five years.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Power, Dr. Godknows Igali in his remarks said that government’s intervention in the power sector includes the diversification of the electricity sources from the present 80 per cent gas and 20 per cent hydro to integrate nuclear power to meet its target of generating 20,000MW by 2020.
Igali said: “With NAEC’s plan to inject 1,200MW from first nuclear power plant in 2025 and increase to 4,800MW in 2035, the energy mix is expected to have increased to about 20 per cent power generation from clean sources.”
With regards to the safety of the power plants, the Deputy Director General, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Dr. Mikhail Chudakov who led the agency’s delegation on a two-week trip to Nigeria said Nigeria should be prepared to take adequate responsibility for the safety culture and safe operation of a nuclear power in the country.
– This Day