The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) team leader, Mr Lamberto Matteocci, announced the conclusion of the audit of Nigeria’s nuclear programme in Abuja at a closing ceremony of IAEA Nigeria Audit. Matteocci is of IAEA’s Integrated Regulatory Review Service, (IRRS), and the ceremony was organised by the Nigerian Nuclear Regulatory Agency, NNRA, the regulatory body in charge of nuclear and radiation issues in Nigeria. Nigeria’s nuclear programme may have taken another progressive step forward, with the conclusion of the audit of its nuclear and radiation safety regulatory framework .
Matteocci identified five areas where the country could make improvements as regards nuclear and radiation safety to underscore its preparedness for nuclear and radiation emergencies.
He, however, said the final mission report would be ready in three months and made public.
The IRRS team commended Nigeria, especially the NNRA, for its efforts and commitment at improving the safety and protection of people and the environment.
He noted that the NNRA was faced with challenges that included having full independence in decision-making and conducting regulatory activities effectively towards attaining Nigeria’s planned nuclear power programme.
In its recommendations, the team suggested that the Federal Government should establish a national policy on safety and ensure that the corresponding legal framework was in line with IAEA safety standards. It also recommended that the government should ensure that the NNRA was fully independent.
The team also advised the Federal Government to amend its action plan to account for any new issues of the recommendations and suggestions and encourage the country to write the IRRS for a follow-up mission within three to four years.
It disclosed that Nigeria made extensive use of radiation sources in medical and industrial application, science and research, and also had a research reactor used for the analysis of materials and training.
The Director-General of NNRA, Prof. Lawrence Dim, assured that the Federal Government would work with the IAEA to develop a work-plan for the implementation of the mission’s recommendations and suggestions.
”Nigeria is always ready to cooperate with the agency in the area of nuclear and radiation safety, as well as in other areas.”
”We are committed to using the IAEA safety standards and international best practices to improve our policy, legal, technical and regulatory infrastructure,” he said.
NATIONAL NUCLEAR POWER ROADMAP: Nigeria Developing Atomic Energy For Power Generation – Atomic Chief
The Chairman, Nigeria Atomic Energy Commission (NAEC), Dr. Erepamo Osaisai, has reaffirmed that implementation of Nigeria’s NATIONAL NUCLEAR POWER ROADMAP is on course. He said the agency is developing atomic energy for production waste and water resources management as well as power generation, according to it’s mandate under the nuclear power roadmap. Dr. Erepamo Osaisai noted that nuclear energy was not only for the development of weapons of mass destruction but was also useful in agriculture, food production waste and water resources management as well as power generation, adding that Nigeria is developing atomic energy for such purposes. He stressed that atomic energy is an important component of the energy mix that will address the nation’s energy problems. NAEC Chief, Dr. Erepamo Osaisai made these assertions when Garba Abari, Nigeria’s National Orientation Agency (NOA) Director General, paid him a visit.
On his part, NOA Director General, Garba Abari stated that an attitude change programme was underway to correct the negative perceptions about nuclear energy among Nigerians. He said in the light of on-going efforts towards sustainable energy supply in Nigeria, the National Orientation Agency (NOA) has also identified atomic energy as an important component of Nigeria’s energy solution.
The NOA boss said while Nigeria is expanding its hydroelectric power generation and exploring solar energy, there was need to pay close attention to nuclear energy which has little impact on climate and long term cost efficiency. He said NOA was engaging with critical stakeholders to close the knowledge gap about the use and relevance of atomic energy in national development and the functions of NAEC among citizens, using Information, Communication and Education materials.
The NAEC Chairman, Dr. Erepamo Osaisai underscored the imperative of partnership between national organizations for mutual effectiveness, noting the importance of NOA in the on-going implementation of the national nuclear power roadmap through community sensitizations and mass education on the developmental importance of atomic energy exploration