Plans are underway by the Federal Government to generate electricity from nuclear materials, particularly through the exploration, exploitation and utilization of uranium.
Experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency have been invited to conduct a week training for nuclear practitioners and security officers in the country on the extraction, exploitation and utilization of the substance.
This latest training would expose participants on how to improve uranium for power generation, as the country does not have the required technology to do that at the moment.
The Director-General/Chief Executive Officer, NNRA, Prof. Lawrence Dim, explains that it is now safe to explore Uranium across the country.
According to Dim, there hasn’t been any cause to find out if there is any high level of radiation or exposure relating to the risks of Uranium exploration.
He says 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 training course is also to enlighten our people on the implication of uranium mining. For instance, if a person gets a substantial part of uranium that will trigger security concern, there are developed regulations which have been gazetted to practitioners to serve as a guide in the usage and movement of uranium materials.
At the opening ceremony of the National Training Course on Nuclear Security for the Uranium Extraction Industry in Abuja, the Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, who was represented by a Deputy Director in the ministry, Mr. Wuyep Karnap, stated that it was important for Nigeria to exploit available resources in order to meet its power needs.
He said the training is coming at the right time where capacity to explore, exploit and utilise uranium for power generation and other uses cannot be overemphasized. And apart from the exploration, exploitation and utilization, the security and health aspect of uranium needs to be taken care of, which is why security delegates were being trained.
In March, the Federal Government announced that it was working towards generating 4,000 megawatts of electricity using nuclear energy.
It stated that the plan was to start a programme in the coming years that will give the country 1,000MW in the first instance, which will be increased to 4,000MW thereafter.