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Nuclear Power: IAEA calls for strong, independent regulator in Nigeria

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The International Atomic Energy Agency, IAEA, has called for the creation of an independent nuclear power regulatory body “with clear authority and functions, separated from promotional bodies and functions.”

The IAEA team which was in Nigeria on inspection visit of proposed sites for Nigeria’s nuclear power plants also called for the enactment of strong nuclear law in the country.

The team in its preliminary report urged the Nigeria Atomic Energy Commission, NAEC, to conduct surveys including Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA) on the sites chosen for over 4,000megawatts nuclear power projects.

The selected sites for the nuclear power plants are in Geregu, Kogi State and Itu in Akwa Ibom State.

INIR 10-member team after their two weeks session in Nigeria gave the nod for the EIA and site characterization in its preliminary draft INIR Mission Report presented after concluding its assessment in Abuja.

The team made 42 recommendations for an operational nuclear power environment including, the enactment of a comprehensive nuclear law and the creation of an independent nuclear power regulatory body.

It wants NAEC to coordinate the site characterisation, EIA, conclusion of national specification and a grid expansion to accommodate nuclear generated power in the national electricity grid.

NAEC chairman, Erepamo Osaisai in his remark noted that the final report will be submitted to the federal government for consideration and implementation.

“We need electricity in the country and that is the core mandate of this commission, and we will do whatever it takes to partner with IAEA to achieve this,” he explained.

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