Power for the people: Nigeria inching closer to going nuclear

by Tolu Orekoya

Nigeria might have its first Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) up and running 7 years from now, according to an article published in The Guardian today.

If the deal goes through, Russian Nuclear energy company RosAtom, according to its director Sergei Kiriyenko, will be building the nuclear plant with a look to 2019 as its start date, producing 1000 MW of energy, ramping up to 4000 MW by 2030.

According to World Nuclear News:

Rosatom chief Sergei Kiriyenko signed a memorandum of understanding with the chairman of the Nigerian Atomic Energy Commission, Franklin Erepamo Osaisai. Its terms will see the two countries “prepare a comprehensive program of building nuclear power plants in Nigeria,” including the development of infrastructure and a framework and system of regulation for nuclear and radiation safety.

The deal could be worth $4.5 billion (N697 billion) to the Russian firm, and has been in the works for some time. Of the 10 new power stations built worldwide last year, three were built with Russian technology, according to Kiriyenko.

While nuclear accidents have reduced greatly in the past few decades, horrific old accidents like Chernobyl in Ukraine, and most recently the Japanese Fukushima disaster have made people wary of nuclear power. In countries like the UK and France there have been agitations to move away from the energy source.

Nigeria’s checkered political history and stability have also been called into question. With fears of Boko Haram attacks, spreading to more vulnerable facilities. However the FG assured that it was capable of keeping the facilities safe.

This deal is part of a move by the Federal Government to kickstart large scale energy projects aimed at ramping up the country’s power output in the next few years.

Siemens, General Electric, Daewoo have all signed (or will sign if all goes well next week, in the case of Daewoo) Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) to help build powerstations in the country.

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