NAEC stated that the country had been making progress in the push to diversify its energy sources, adding that the commission as well as the country’s nuclear regulatory agency, among others, were getting set for the nuclear power project.
The Chairman/Chief Executive, NAEC, Prof. Simon Mallam, stated that the agency had signed different agreements on behalf of the Federal Government with Rosatom, a Russian firm renowned for the construction of nuclear power plants.
This is coming as stakeholders in the nuclear power sector called for greater awareness across the globe on the gains of generating electricity from nuclear sources in presentations delivered at the ongoing 2018 Atom Expo, which were made available to our correspondent by Rosatom.
Mallam stated, “Nigeria has a programme to get its first nuclear power plant on ground and our timeline is towards mid-2020. It is hoped that our first plant will become commercial by 2020, and after that, we will add three or four more plants to the first one within a period of five to 10 years.
“Our plan right now is for us to be able to generate 1,000MW to 1,200MW, and then, up it to four plants of the same capacities. Hopefully, by the time we are done, we will be talking of a total of about 4,800MW. It is not easy to start all of the plants at the same time, considering the capacity to build them and other factors.”
The Federal Government, through NAEC, and the Russian Federation, represented by Rosatom, signed the first cooperation agreement for the development of nuclear technology in Nigeria in 2009.
In 2012, NAEC and Rosatom, representing Nigeria and Russia, respectively, signed another agreement specifically for the development of nuclear power plants in Nigeria. The Federal Executive Council ratified these agreements.
In 2016, an agreement was signed by both parties on NAEC’s research reactor centre in Abuja, and on October 30, 2017, a project development agreement for the research reactor and a nuclear power plant was again signed by the organisations.
“We have good understanding with Russia but we have not signed any contractual agreement. We’ve signed cooperation and project development agreements with Russia. But we’ve not signed any commercial contractual agreement. However, we hope that if all works well, we will develop the infrastructure and sign contractual agreement with them,” Mallam said.