A five-day workshop for nuclear experts has opened in Abuja to discuss how best nuclear materials coming into the country can be accounted for and brought under full regulatory control.
The workshop is important because the materials have wide range of uses in the health and petroleum industries, agriculture, manufacturing, research and as nuclear fuel to power a research reactor. More of such materials, especially nuclear fuel, are expected to be brought into Nigeria when the proposed Nuclear Power Plants for electricity generation take-off.
The Director-General of the Nigerian Nuclear Regulatory Authority, NNRA, Professor Shamsideen Elegba, who described the workshop as timely, said it is part of his organization’s mandate to prepare for successful nuclear safety and radiation protection regulation in Nigeria.
This, he said, will ultimately assist the country in meeting her national and international safeguards and safety obligations in the application of nuclear energy as in the Nuclear Safety and Radiation Protection Act of 1995, Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty which Nigeria signed in 1968 and Additional Protocol Declaration.
He said the Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement came into force in Nigeria in 2003 preparatory to the shipment of nuclear fuel for the first research reactor in the country which was commissioned in 2004.
Brigadier-General Bala-Ali, who represented the National Security Adviser (NSA) at the occasion, said Nigeria’s quest for nuclear technology is only for peaceful purposes like electricity generation.
A five-man IAEA team to the workshop was led by Vladimir Cisar, an IAEA Safeguards Training Officer.