Nigeria is following the right measures in its drive to acquire nuclear power, Rosatom, the Russian nuclear energy corporation renowned for the construction of nuclear power plants, has said.
According to the firm, the development of Nigeria’s nuclear energy programme, which commenced about 10 years ago, has shown that the Federal Government is committed to generating electricity from nuclear sources.
The Rosatom’s Chief Executive Officer, Central and Southern Africa, Dmitry Shornikov, who disclosed this in an email sent to our correspondent, said the Russian corporation was aware that Nigeria had been working with the International Atomic Energy Agency as regards nuclear energy development.
He said, “Nigeria is most certainly following all the correct steps to be ready for nuclear power. The Nigerian government has shown firm commitment to introduce nuclear power into its energy mix. We are aware; and we commend Nigeria for its current work with the IAEA using its Key Milestone Approach.
“It is a phased comprehensive method designed to assist countries that are considering or planning their first nuclear power plant. The KMA splits the activities necessary to establish the infrastructure for a nuclear power programme into three progressive phases of development, with the duration of each dependent on the degree of commitment and resources applied in the country.
“The completion of each phase is marked by a specific ‘milestone’ at which progress can be assessed and a decision can be made about the readiness to move on to the next phase.”
On the state of nuclear agreement between Nigeria and Rosatom, Shornikov stated that his firm had been working with the country for about five years.
He said, “A great deal has already been done in terms of the legal framework and educating specialists, both of which are part of the nuclear infrastructure development programme. On October 30, 2017, Russia and Nigeria signed project development agreements on construction and operation of a nuclear power plant and a research centre housing a multi-purpose nuclear research reactor on the territory of Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“The parties also signed a road map for cooperation in the field of peaceful usage of nuclear technologies. Rosatom is committed to assisting Nigeria achieve its nuclear ambition.”
Shornikov stated that in 2015, the IAEA conducted two missions to Nigeria in support of its nuclear programme.
He noted that the missions found that Nigeria’s emergency preparedness and response framework was in line with international agency’s safety standards.
Shornikov said, “In mid-2017, the IAEA concluded a 10-day mission to assess the regulatory framework for nuclear and radiation safety in Nigeria. The Integrated Regulatory Review Service team recognised the strong commitment of Nigeria to improving nuclear and radiation safety and further noted that the team was extended full cooperation by all parties in the review.
“In early 2018, the Integrated Nuclear Infrastructure Review for Research Reactors was conducted in Nigeria. The team said Nigeria was making notable progress in strengthening the infrastructure for a new research reactor, which is expected to begin operation in 2025. The team also made recommendations and suggestions aimed at helping Nigeria to advance infrastructure development.”