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Nigeria: Govt Heightens Nuclear Power Drive

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The Federal Government of Nigeria has said, following the success recorded so far, it is intensifying its drive for a nuclear power plant.

The acting Chairman of the Nigerian Atomic Energy Commission (NAEC), Engr. Mukthar Sani Ali, disclosed this in Abuja on Thursday at an interactive session on the implementation of the National Nuclear Energy Programme and the benefits of Nigeria’s technical cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Engr. Mukthar said: “I should inform you that recently, UAE proactively commissioned her first nuclear power plant which is already contributing to the national energy mix.

“The constructions of additional nuclear power plants are already underway in the UAE.

“You may recall that the UAE started her nuclear programme long after Nigeria had started but the public acceptance occasioned by good media reportage got the UAE to attain this milestone in relatively short time.

“This media parley could not have come at a better time considering progress recorded thus far in the implementation of Nigeria’s nuclear programme.”

NAEC had in June 2015 selected Geregu in Kogi and Itu in Akwa Ibom State as sites for the first two nuclear power plants that could generate about 2,400 megawatts (MW) of electricity.

It also held talks with Russia’s Rosatom Corporation in April 2015, to build four nuclear power plants at $20 billion (over N4 trillion) to generate 4,800MW. However, little progress has been made.

Engr. Mukthar also said Nigeria’s technical cooperation with IAEA had been over 50 years with immense benefits from various collaborations.

Director General of the National Orientation Agency (NOA), Dr. Garba Abari, lauded NAEC for the nuclear development efforts.

Dr. Abari, who was represented by the Director, Documentation, Translation and Publication (DTP), Dr Davidson Aminu, however called for more public sensitisation, especially on allaying the safety concerns.

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