Monday, June 21, 2021

    ‘Nigeria not serious about nuclear power’

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    Gbenga Samson
    Samson Gbenga Salau [Editorial Board Adviser] Gbenga Samuel Salau is a professional journalist with over 17 years experience in journalism, he is a graduate of Communication and Language Arts, University of Ibadan. On completion of his youth service, he joined The Guardian as a freelance journalist and was later absorbed as a staff. While in the University, he was a campus journalist reporting for the Independence Hall and Faculty of Arts Press Clubs. As a campus journalist, he won the following awards; Independence Hall Press Best News writer; University of Ibadan Union of Campus Journalists’ Best News Reporter/Writer; First Runner-up, Reuben Abati Award for Investigative Journalism; Association of Faculty of Arts Students’ Press Best Reporter; University of Ibadan Union of Campus Journalists’ Best Political Writer; Winner, Reuben Abati Award for Investigative Journalism, and University of Ibadan Union of Campus Journalists’ Best Interviewer. He served the Association of Communication and Language Arts Students, as the Public Relation Officer, the same year he was appointed the News Editor of the Association of Faculty of Arts Students Press. The following session, he was made the General Editor, and a member of the 13-man University of Ibadan Students’ Union Transition Committee. As a reporter in The Guardian, in 2014, he won the Promasidor Quill Award Best Report on Nutrition and DAME Business Reporting category. In the 2015 edition of the Promasidor Quill Award, he won the best Report on Nutrition and Brand Advocate Categories, while in 2016, he won the NMMA Print Journalist of the Year, first runner-up Golden Pen Reporter of the Year and SERAs CSR Awards. Gbenga Salau loves traveling, reading, and listening to songs with good lyrics no matter the genre.

    Nigeria is yet to record a remarkable success in nuclear energy production and further improve electricity supply, ROSATOM’s Head, Technical and Infrastructure Department, Jose Bastos, said at the weekend in Sochi, Russia at the 2019 Atomexpo International Conference/Exhibitions.

    The country produces less than 5,000 megawatts (Mw) of electricity, which are not enough to increase socio-economic activities nationwide. The Federal Government is exploring the nuclear energy option for growth.

    Bastos said Nigeria’s declaration of interest to produce nuclear energy is not matched with a reasonable level of commitment, adding that the country will with time sort out issues that are hindering it from becoming one of the producers of nuclear energy in the world.

    According to him, many countries, including Nigeria have approached ROSATOM to help in producing nuclear energy for their citizens, stressing that they were at different levels of investing in nuclear energy production in their countries.

    Bastos said: “There are three stages in participating in nuclear energy programme. The stages are known as phases, as evident by the desires of each country to engage in energy mix through production of nuclear power. The first stage is known as consideration stage, as its shows the intention of a country to generate nuclear energy for its people. The second stage is a stage where a big investment is made to generate nuclear energy while the third one is a stage in which nuclear power projects are implemented.”

    Countries in the first group, Bastos said, are showing readiness to go into nuclear energy priduction, but have many issues to contend with.

    He said one of the issues has to do with the national position on the provision of nuclear energy.

    He added that countries in the first stage are volatile, a development, which has made it difficult for those countries to carry along all the stakeholders that are involved in the generation, distribution and transmission of electricity to their people.

    Bastos noted that Nigeria falls between the first and the second categories, going by the decision of the country to go into nuclear energy programme, coupled with its commitment to have two nuclear power cited in two out of its 36 states.

    The Federal Government had signed an aggrement with Moscow to generate nuclear power two years ago. The agreement is believed to be a mere paper work as no meaningful practical steps have been taken since then.

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