The Federal Government of Nigeria has revealed it would be considering nuclear materials especially uranium for the production of electricity.
Experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) have been invited to run a one-week training on the extraction, exploitation and utilization of uranium.
The training is meant to be directed at nuclear practitioners and security officers in the country.
The Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi who was represented at the opening ceremony for the training course by Mr. Wuyep Karnap, said:
Last week at the National Council on Power conference in Kaduna, the issue of uranium for power generation was actually canvassed as a vital component in the energy mix equation. So, this training is coming at the right time where capacity to explore, exploit and utilize uranium for power generation and other uses cannot be overemphasized. And apart from the exploration, exploitation and utilization, the security and health aspects of uranium needs to be taken care of, and that is why we have security delegates here.
The DG and CEO of the Nigerian Nuclear Regulatory Agency (NNRA), Prof. Lawrence Dim stated that although Nigeria lacks the required technology used in converting Uranium to electrical power, the training aims to expose the participants to the benefits and usage of uranium.
He also added that the element is safe for exploration in the country as there are no known dangers from radiation yet.
“Uranium exploration in Nigeria is quite safe. We have not had any cause to find out that there is any high level of radiation or exposure relating to that.
“The issue is that the uranium we get in our soil is the natural uranium; although it has radioactive material, the concentration is low. So we don’t have any situation where the level of radiation coming out from it is detected to be harmful.”
The statement was also reiterated by the Senior Nuclear Security Officer, IAEA, Mr Robert Larsen, who stated that Nigeria is “a good nuclear partner and that is why the agency is here to see how we can assist in uranium extraction.”