The Nigeria Atomic Energy Commission (NAEC), in collaboration with the Centre for Energy Research and Training (CERT), Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, Kaduna State, will deploy nuclear science and technology to strengthen electric power generation in Nigeria.

Professor Yusuf-Aminu Ahmed, Chairman, NAEC, disclosed this during the 20th anniversary symposium of Nigeria’s first Nuclear Research Reactor-1 (NNR-1).

Ahmed said the experience developed over the years on nuclear power at the centre makes Nigeria ripe and ready to go into the next level of power generation through the nuclear reactor.

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“We have used the reactor for research and development over the years and now we are going to use the reactor for the purpose of generating electricity.

“President Bola Tinubu has already given the commission a mandate to see how it contributes in the clean energy sphere of Nigeria and the nuclear energy programme of Nigeria would participate,” Ahmed said.

He explained that the time for the project would not be open for the public and added that international partners and vendors were working closely with the commission over the project.

Ahmed also said intergovernmental agreements were signed with some of the vendors on the nuclear power in Nigeria and that President Tinubu will soon make an announcement on the issue.

Earlier, Senator George Akume, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, said the 20 years of safe operation of the nuclear research reactor was an indication that Nigeria has joined the campaign for safe application of nuclear energy.

Akume, represented by his Special Assistant on Technical Issues, Professor Bolaji Babatunde, added that since the centre had safely operated the nuclear research reactor for 20 years, it can also obtain a nuclear reactor for electricity generation.

According to him, the process of having a reactor that would generate electricity is similar to operating a nuclear research reactor.

“President Tinubu has re-echoed the need for having nuclear energy into the sources of electric power generation in Nigeria and Nigerians should look forward to this power.

“Electricity generated through nuclear energy is clean and safe except for human errors or natural causes such as the one that happened in Hiroshima,” he said.

Earlier, Professor Sunday Jonah, Director of the centre said the event was to celebrate 20 years of safe operation, maintenance and utilisation of the first Nuclear Research Reactor code named NNR-1.”

However, in spite of the numerous gains at the centre over the years, the director lamented over a plot by NAEC to wrestle the centre from the university through the proposed NAEC Bill 2022.

He explained that such a move would negate the dreams of the founding fathers of the centre in universities because of the culture of research and development being promoted at designated universities.

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