Oscarline Onwuemenyi 25 November 2015, Sweetcrude, Abuja – Nigeria’s nuclear power energy programme is on course to diversify the nation’s power sources beyond gas and hydro bases, the Nigeria Atomic Energy Commission, NAEC, has said.
Director-General of the agency, Dr. Erepamo Osaisai, who disclosed this, stated that the agency has a nuclear power road map “which is being approved by government” and that, in the implementation of the road map, it needed to build critical nuclear power infrastructure and enter into partnerships with international agencies and other technical partners.
Dr. Osaisai made this known while in the State House in Abuja to present a report on the Implementation of Nuclear Power Programme for Nigeria, conducted in partnership with the International Atomic Energy Agency, IAEA, to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.
According to him, the report had articulated how the nation could meet the infrastructural need for nuclear power programme.
He 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.
“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.’’
Dr. Osaisai 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,’’ he said.
On the commission’s facility in Ile-Ife, the director general 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.”