With the commitment to diversify its energy mix and significantly widen its renewable energy sources, the Nigerian government is not backing down in its efforts to invest in nuclear power to solve the nation’s electricity shortages.
The decision to continue the investment in the project is coming despite International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) insistence that Nigeria is too underdeveloped for nuclear power.
However the Federal Government through the Nigerian Nuclear Regulatory Agency (NNRA) in partnership with Russia’s State Atomic Energy Corporation, Rosatom, planned to build four nuclear stations with a total cost of $80 billion across the country.
The team from ROSATOM who recently visited the country disclosed that the development of nuclear technologies will allow Nigeria to strengthen its position as one of the leading countries of the African continent.
EnergyDay gathered through a NNRA source that Rosatom is expected to build one of the plants in the south, the other in the Kaduna, North central. This is among the various projects that the Russian firm is eyeing in Africa, as it is also involved in discussions in Ghana and South Africa.
The deal it would be recalled was reached after a long period of negotiation, with the two countries signing their first intergovernmental nuclear co-operation agreement in 2009.
Recently Yau Idris,Director General of the Nigerian Nuclear Regulatory Agency confirmed the deal with Rosatom. According to him the agency opened bidding for the construction of a 4 GW nuclear plant, which will provide close to one third of Nigeria’s installed generating capacity.
Idris said the four-reactor nuclear power plants will add a crucial 4GW of capacity to the country’s energy supply and serve as a key initiative by the Nigerian government to diversify its energy mix, ensure energy security and address power outages.
Notably, the Russian-Nigerian Joint Coordination Committee on National Atomic Energy was established in 2009 with the aim to complete a nuclear plant in Nigeria by 2020.
The Committee was, however, reconstituted in July 2021 to enable the development of the Geregu and Itu nuclear power stations in central and southern Nigeria, respectively, at a total cost of $20 billion.
EnergyDay however gathered that the Federal Government is hopeful that the nuclear plants, which will initially be operated by Rosatom before the end of 2023 will help deal with the country’s energy deficit.