Nigeria aims to go nuclear by 2019

18 June 2010

The Nigeria Atomic Energy Commission (NAEC) said that "all things being equal" the country will have a 1000 MWe nuclear power plant in operation by 2019, according to a report in the Leadership newspaper. Earlier, during the inauguration of a new cabinet, the country's president, Goodluck Jonathan, directed the Ministry of Power to focus on generation of electricity from alternative sources. He also brought the ministry directly under his supervision to ensure that the country attains its target of having 6000 MW of generating capacity in place by the end of 2010. Industry analysts believe that investing in power production from alternative sources would stop the sabotage of gas pipelines by militants in the Niger Delta and would help Nigeria increase its exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG). The head of the NAEC, Erepamo Osaisai, said: "All things being equal, Nigeria will generate 1000 MW of nuclear electricity by 2019 and an additional capacity of 4000 MW ten years thereafter." He noted that the NAEC had begun full implementation of the National Strategic Program put in place by the government for nuclear power generation. While calling for adequate funding for the successful implementation of the nuclear energy program, Osaisai said that the NAEC would do everything possible to ensure that Nigeria was 'ranked among the comity of nations using nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.'