Nigerian nuclear program based on 'safety, security and respect'

31 May 2016

Nigeria wants to develop nuclear power to diversify its energy mix beyond the current mix dominated by fossil and hydro, Franklin Osaisai, head of the Nigeria Atomic Energy Commission, told the AtomExpo conference in Moscow today. He wants Nigerian people to share ownership and management responsibility in a future program based on 'safety, security and respect'.  

The country has a population of 180 million which is growing at 2.5% per year. Access to domestic fossil fuels is convenient but not sustainable in the long term. The main reason to develop nuclear power, said Osaisai, is to diversify a supply mix currently dominated by natural gas. However, "It will also lead to mastery of nuclear technology applications in other areas." Nigeria has operated a research reactor at Ahmadu Bello University since 2004.

"In as much as it is the right of every country to implement a nuclear program, the country also has responsibility for safety and security, it is responsible to put in place the infrastructure to make sure nuclear power is safe and secure and to fulfill obligations to safeguards and nonproliferation," Osaisai said.

In creating the country's plan, Osaisai said Nigeria would be careful work out the details of responsibility for all the risks and costs involved, the project model and the ownership structure. "Sustainability means a good degree of ownership and a good understanding of the issues by Nigeria, with support from Rosatom and the International Atomic Energy Agency guiding us."

He hoped the country would be generating nuclear electricity by 2025, but "in implementing a program, you need timelines, but you don't work in a rush to achieve this timeline." The bywords are "safety, security and respect" because "bringing social and economic development to people is the key to the projects as well as the modus operandi".

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News