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Nigeria advances nuclear power option

14 September 2012 – Nigeria is looking to introduce nuclear power to its energy mix. The Guardian newspaper reports that in June 2012, the country together with Russia began implementation of a nuclear power generation agreement signed three years previously.

Nuclear power is part of the plan to help Nigeria meet targets of 10,000 MW of capacity by 2020 and 40,000 MW by 2030. The planned nuclear power plants are to be located in unnamed locations in Lagos, Ondo, Cross River and Adamawa states. Various institutional frameworks have already been put into place to help enable nuclear power in Nigeria to become a reality.

In 2007, the Nigerian federal executive council in 2007 endorsed the National Nuclear Power Roadmap that consists of a three-phase technical framework developed by the Nigeria Atomic Energy Commission (NAEC). In the same year, the government inaugurated a committee to identify sites for Nigeria’s first nuclear power plant. The committee was tasked to undertake detailed studies to characterise the geology, seismicity, soil properties, hydrology, meteorological parameters as well as nearness to the electricity grid.

The Nigerian Nuclear Regulatory Authority (NNRA) has been set up by the Nuclear Safety and Radiation Protection Act No. 19 of 1995 with responsibility for nuclear safety and radiological protection regulation in Nigeria. The NNRA has as part of its mandate the responsibility to ensure protection of life, health, property and environment from harmful effects of ionising radiation. The ACT further mandates the NNRA to provide training, information and guidance on nuclear safety and radiation protection in Nigeria.