Nigeria‎: Govt targets 1,200Mw from nuclear energy plants

*Vice President Yemi Osinbajo of Nigeria.

*Vice President Yemi Osinbajo of Nigeria.

*As IAEA endorses nation’s quest for sustainable power

Oscarline Onwuemenyi

18 November 2015, Sweetcrude, Abuja – The Federal Government has announced that it is considering a mix of energy sources for electricity supply.

The Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, who stated this yesterday while receiving a delegation of the Nigeria Atomic Energy Commission, NAEC, led by its Director-General, Dr. Erepamo Osaisai, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, noted that government is interested in pursuing renewable energy besides working to improve power generation from the national grid.

Osinbajo observed that, “The long and short of it is that we definitely need a mix of energy choices because in the next decade such a mix will be imperative.’’

The solar option, he said, is also being considered by the Federal Government.

Dr. Osaisai was in the State House to present a report on the Implementation of Nuclear Power Programme for Nigeria, conducted in partnership with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Director, Nuclear Power at IAEA, Dr. Dohee Hann, told the Vice President that Nigeria as Africa’s leading economy, needs to consider nuclear energy for electricity in order to address the power deficit.

He said the presentation of the report to the Vice President was an important stage in the process, emphasising that the report had articulated how the nation can meet the infrastructural need for nuclear power programme for the country.

Dr. Osaisai said Nigeria plans to make each of its nuclear power plants to generate power in excess of 1,200megawatts (Mw), adding that IAEA conducted an integrated nuclear infrastructure review mission in the country in June and that the nation’s nuclear power energy programme was on course to diversify power sources beyond gas and hydro bases.

“Our nuclear power plants are huge machines. And what we are planning is, each of the power plants will be generating power in excess of 1,200 Mw.”

He added, “Nigeria is signatory to the nuclear non-proliferation treaty. We are a member of the IAEA and our responsibility as a country is to utilise nuclear power in the safest way possible.

“And what Nigeria is doing, as we can tell, is diversifying our energy generation base beyond gas and hydro to include other sources for which nuclear is also being considered.’’

He pointed out the United Nations (UN) nuclear watchdog made recommendations that could help Nigeria develop its nuclear power projects.

“They (IAEA officials) have made a final report in which there are specific recommendations, suggestions and also identifying good practices in the implementation of our own nuclear power programme in the country.

“That is the report they (we) came to submit to Mr Vice President.

“It’s quite a serious task and responsibility for a country to implement a nuclear power programme and what we do at the NAEC is to take leadership in building the pertinent nuclear power infrastructure.’’

According to Osaisai, NAEC has a nuclear power road map “which is being approved by government and that is what we are implementing.”

He said in the implementation of the road map, the organisation needed to build critical nuclear power infrastructure and enter into partnerships with international agencies and other technical partners.

“The mission of the agency in June was to assess our level of preparedness and readiness in the building of this national nuclear power infrastructure.

“And we’ve done quite well. I think there are specific recommendations that would also strengthen our own effort in the country.’’

On the commission’s facility in Ile-Ife, the chairman said it was a “tandem accelerator“ for practical physics, which could be used to implement a number of things including environmental studies.

“That is not directly in the power area, but it is a machine or equipment that will be useful for nuclear education, training, and research as well as for development in the country. We are putting it to good use; it is working fine; we have been able to conduct a number of studies.”

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