Agency urges independent regulatory body for nuclear power plants
For Nigeria’s plans to generate electricity from nuclear power to be successful, there should be an independent regulatory body with clear authority and functions, separated from promotional bodies and functions, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has said.
Nigeria plans to inject 1,200mw from first nuclear power plant in 2025 and further increase to 4,800mw in 2035.
However, after a two week Integrated Nuclear lnfrastructure Review (INIR) mission in Nigeria, the IAEA added that though Nigeria has built substantial capacity in the area of nuclear power plant, the country needs to enact a comprehensive nuclear law.
In a preliminary report obtained by The Guardian yesterday, the Agency observed strong government support for the quest for nuclear power in Nigeria, but made 42 recommendations, 10 suggestions and six good practices during its stay in Nigeria.
Team Leader for the INIR mission in Nigeria, Anne Starz stressed that the team was in Nigeria to conduct an INIR on the status of preparedness for nuclear power in Nigeria.
“Our team consisted of 10 IAEA staff and international experts with varied years of nuclear experience. The objectives of INIR mission is to assist Nigeria to develop the necessary infrastructure necessary for the implementation of a successful nuclear power programme,” she noted.
The report tasked Nigeria to further refine its national expectations for the Nuclear Power Programme (NPP) and complete activities needed to establish national specifications for the NPP prior to the conclusion of key agreements.
“Plans to finalise the structure of relevant organisation and their human resources should be developed,” the report noted.
It added: “Nigeria should enact a comprehensive nuclear law covering the delineation of responsibilities and adequate provision for safety, security, safeguards and civil liability for damage.
Nigeria should consider joining the 1977 Protocol to amend the Vienna Convention and also strengthen the regulatory framework.
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