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Wednesday, June 17, 2015

FG Picks Geregu, Itu As 2,400mw Nuclear Power Sites

igali
The Federal Government through the Nigeria Atomic Energy Commission (NAEC) has selected Geregu in Kogi State and Itu in Akwa Ibom State as the sites for building two nuclear power plants in Nigeria that could generate up to 2,400 megawatts (mw) at both sites.

In a presentation yesterday at the plenary of the Phase 2 Integrated Nuclear Infrastructure Review (INIR) mission in Abuja, NAEC Chairman, Mr. Erepamo Osaisai, said part of its progress is the concluded preliminary site selection activities and “detailed evaluation and characterization to be conducted on preferred sites on the approval of government in Geregu, Ajaokuta Local Government Area of kogi State and Itu in Itu LGA of Akwa Ibom State.”

Daily Trust had reported in April that NAEC was holding talks with Russia’s Rosatom Corporation to build four nuclear power plants costing about $20 billion (about N3.9 trillion) which would generate 4,800 megawatts (mw).

Erepamo said the plants will be co-financed by Rosatom, which will then build, own, operate and transfer (BOOT) them to the government. He noted that the preliminary licensing of the approved sites is expected by the end of 2016 from the Nigerian Nuclear Regulatory Authority (NNRA) which is currently developing the licences’ procedures.

The commission said training and capacity building for building and operating the plants are ongoing while it has developed a framework to establish a ‘National Nuclear Insurance Policy and Scheme’ to “adequately address the civil liability of component for the Nuclear Power industry in conformity with the 1963 Vienna Convention on Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage.”

The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Power, Dr. Godknows Igali, said government’s intervention in the power sector includes the diversification of the electricity sources from the present 80 percent gas and 20 percent hydro to integrate nuclear power to meet its target of generating 20,000 megawatts (mw) by year 2020.

“With NAEC’s plan to inject 1,200mw from first nuclear power plant in 2025 and increase to 4,800mw in 2035, the energy mix is expected to have increased to about 20 percent power generation from clean sources,” Igali said.

Meanwhile, the Deputy Director General, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Dr Mikhail Chudakov, who led the agency’s delegation on a two-week trip to Nigeria, said Nigeria should be prepared to take adequate responsibility for the safety culture and for safe operation of a nuclear power in the country.

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