Nigeria Intensifies Arrangements for Nuclear Power Development


Nigeria is stepping up preparations for effective regulation of its planned nuclear power generation from nuclear sources.


The country’s first nuclear power generation unit is expected to provide about 1200 megawatts (MW) and it is originally scheduled to come on stream in 2020.  It was also projected that Nuclear technology would contribute at least 4,000MW to the country’s total national electricity supply by 2030.


As part of the capacity building process for the commencement of the project, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) recently commenced the training of another batch of experts in areas of nuclear safety at the Nigerian Nuclear Regulatory Authority (NNRA) in Abuja.


The training, according to nuclear safety specialist at IAEA and team leader of the trainers, Abida Khatoon was incorporated in partnership with the NNRA to provide basic professional training on nuclear power programming.


Khatoon said: “It will be used by the staff to work progressively in other areas. So, we provide this basic professional training to a number of countries which are embarking on nuclear power programme.


"The specific target of this basic professional training is to be able to train Nigerians so that they can provide further training in Nigeria and within the region as well. Because there are some countries which are emerging and are embarking on nuclear power programme in the region.


We have countries like Sudan, Kenya, Egypt and a number of others who are embarking on nuclear power programmes.”


The Acting Director General of NNRA, Dr. Martin Ogharandukun, also said the training was aimed at further capacity building of relevant officials of NNRA towards acquiring competence.


He said: “Since the inception of the NNRA, it has embraced best regulatory framework within the context of the Act to effectively fulfill its primary regulatory functions which include radiation protection, safety and security of radioactive sources, safeguards of nuclear materials and the physical protection of nuclear facilities.


"This has been achieved through a system of registration, licensing and inspection of practices involving ionising radiation and the enforcement of compliance with the Act.”


Ogharandukun added:“NNRA has also taken necessary measures to have in place the basic administrative and technical capacity to support its activities. In pursuance of the fulfilment of its regulatory functions as contained in the Act, NNRA activities are guided by the five pillars of regulatory control program; regulations and guidance, authorisation, oversight functions, emergency planning and response and ancillary functions.”


According to him, one of the ancillary functions of NNRA was the responsibility of the authority in regulating the operations of power reactors and human capacity development.


Furthermore, he explained that the safety of the planned power reactors would be ensured through safety assessment, review and the licensing process, adding that the NNRA has in this regard, developed a draft bill on nuclear safety, security and safeguards, draft Nigerian regulation for licensing of sites for nuclear power plants, draft regulation on design and construction of nuclear power plants.