By Ben Agande, Abuja.
Against the background of international opposition to the acquisition of Nuclear energy by Iran, President Goodluck Jonathan Thursday assured the International community that Nigeria’s pursuit of nuclear technology was only for peaceful purposes.
While commissioning the Researchers’ Hostel and Conference Centre of the National Atomic Energy Commission (NAEC), in Abuja, president Jonathan said “the acquisition and use of nuclear technology for peaceful purposes is an important element in any nation’s path towards economic, scientific and technological development.
The president who was represented by Vice President Namadi Sambo noted that “Apart from the generation of electricity, nuclear energy finds ready peaceful applications in agriculture and food security, human health and medicine, water resources management, industry and in basic and applied scientific research.
“The decision to introduce nuclear power into our energy mix was made after lengthy and meticulous process, which involved the use of analytical and planning tools with the cooperation and assistance of the International Atomic energy Agency (IAEA).”
He charged NAEC to evolve mechanisms that will ensure its safe use when eventually pointing out that NAEC must also develop and implement appropriate mechanisms to assess, national, regional and international nuclear emergency preparedness and response capabilities.”
On the project that was commissioned, President Jonathan asserted that it was a critical national resource centre in the area of nuclear power educational infrastructure development, adding that “it is also an affirmation of this administration’s strong belief that the frontiers of socio-economic development are within the reach of any determined and committed society driven by science and technology.”