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THE Nigeria Atomic Energy Commission, NAEC disclosed yesterday that plans have been concluded to procure a $6 billion nuclear plant in 2022 to ensure stable power supply in the country for a period of 60 years.
In its presentation before the Rashidi Ladoja-led Committee on Energy at Nicon Luxury Hotel, Abuja, Director, Human Resources of the commission, Prof Simon Mallam, urged the Federal Government to explore and develop all sources of energy available in the country, adding that the best thing to do if we must have sustainable energy is to develop all the available energy sources including nuclear, gas, hydro, coal and solar.
He though the country wasted a little time in the nuclear arena, the commission would be able to deliver nuclear power by 2022 if the enabling environment and support were given, adding that nuclear power may be expensive, but can endure for a very long time even if it starts with a small plant.
Professor Mallam, who noted that all the available sources can exist side by side, said that what will be generated from nuclear energy can be used to feed into others and it becomes a basic supply. While dismissing its expensive nature, he explained that the country can embrace the principle of “Build and operate” option where private individuals with the skill and finance can develop and manage it for some time and recoup their money and then hand over to the government.
He explained that the option gives room for a country to provide the enabling environment and other frameworks needed and the partner will be concerned with the development and operation which leaves the two bodies with a win-win situation.
He said: “I believe that although we wasted time, but we are not arriving late on the scene. All the administrations right from Chief Obasanjo have given their commitments in this regard. We also hope that subsequent administrations will key into it, there is no reason they will not key in.
We want to be sure of what we are doing as far as the technology, safety and environment is concerned. That is why we are taking our time and collaborating with the international community; we will meet our target with the support we are getting.”