By Prince Osuagwu (in Moscow, Russia)
MOSCOW—Nigeria yesterday signed Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, with the government of Russian Federation, on cooperation in construction of centre for nuclear science and technology in the country.
The MOU, which was signed between representatives of the two countries, Mr Sergey Kirienko, Director Russian Rosatom State Corporation and Dr Erepano Osaisai, Chairman/Chief Executive, Nigeria Atomic Energy Commission, was part of the high points of Nigeria’s participation in the ongoing 2016 ATOM Expo, in Moscow, Russia.
International Forum, ATOM EXPO is the largest exhibition and business venue for meetings and negotiations of the world leaders in nuclear energy.
Immediately after signing the MOU, Dr Osaisai said that Nigeria’s intention to acquire nuclear technology followed the realization that nuclear energy contributes quite a chunk of global electricity.
He noted that Nigeria, with its huge population, could not afford to miss out in the current trend.
He also admitted that the project would come with a huge cost but added that the cost of not having clean energy and adequate electricity would be higher for those who failed to join the fray.
Osaisai said: “Nuclear acquisition has come to stay. It is well known that it contributes quite a chunk of global electricity.
‘’Although Nigeria does have other sources of energy, but this is about a balanced and diversified energy basket. Nuclear happens to be the one we considered.
“The preference is because it is environmentally friendly and leads to a better conservation of other resources.”
Recall that Nigeria was first in Africa to establish a research reactor when in 2004, it enabled a Chinese-origin research reactor at Ahmadu Bello University.
The country is also reportedly seeking collaboration with the International Atomic Energy Agency, IAEA, to develop plans for up to 4,000 MW of nuclear capacity by 2027.