By Kazeem Biriowo
Nigeria has expressed sadness over absence of nuclear power plants across Africa saying out of over 400 nuclear power plants operating in the world, only one country in the continent is using it.
Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Sen. Adeleke Mamora in his National statement at the international ministerial conference on Nuclear Power in the 21st century in Washington DC lamented that there are over 400 nuclear power plants operating today across the world, but sadly, Africa, except for one country, is yet to have a feel of the immense benefits of nuclear power in the energy basket of the continent.
Mamora said this is regardless of the fact of the glaring energy deficit confronting the continent, stressing that the situation only re-echoes the well-known axiom that the injection of nuclear power in the overall energy mix of the continent will significantly pave the way for huge socio-economic development.
He said, several countries in Africa have genuine aspirations for industrialization and growth but the lack of reliable and sustainable base-load energy constitutes a serious impediment.
“Despite all the good policies formulated by African countries, the attainment of real growth and development has remained a mirage due to energy inadequacy.
“The possibility of nuclear power is now providing African countries with a better alternative for energy generation.
“Like most other nations in the continent, Nigeria, with a population of over 200 million
people, have a serious energy supply deficit, making it compelling for the government to
critically look towards other energy options that are affordable, more environmentally
friendly and sustainable.”
Mamora further disclosed that consequently, Nigeria has taken a decision to fully explore and harness nuclear energy resources for the generation of electricity which will contribute to the country’s energy security through an appropriate energy mix.
According to Mamora “Nigeria is currently engaged in discussions with some countries and vendors for our nuclear power project.
“Two potential sites for Nigeria’s Nuclear Power Plant have been identified and are necessary
processes are being undertaken under the Integrated Nuclear Power Programme of
Nigeria with the IAEA.
“In furtherance to this unwavering commitment to energy mix through the acquisition of nuclear power, the Federal Government of Nigeria has activated the Nigeria Atomic Energy Commission(NAEC) as the National focal Agency charged with the responsibility of developing the framework and technical pathway to explore, exploit and harness atomic energy for peaceful applications for the socio-economic development of our country.”
Mamora further disclosed that Nigeria has established the Nigerian Nuclear Regulatory Authority as an independent agency of government to ensure the safety of humans and the protection of the environment in the process of development, deployment and use of nuclear power.
“With the Small Modular Reactor(SMR) technology evolving, Nigeria sees this as a future game-changer in the nuclear industry and looks forward to a greater engagement with the IAEA and other global partners in the coming months and years to discuss the possibility of deploying SMRs in the country.
“Nigeria looks forward not only to a robust and exciting conference but one whose outcomes will help accelerate the socio-economic development of the human race as well as making our planet a safer place for our continued existence,” He said. (Tribune)