Nigeria, Africa’s largest oil producer, is considering building nuclear power plants to alleviate the country’s chronic energy shortages, despite the negativity surrounding nuclear power in the aftermath of Japan’s March Fukushima debacle.
Nigerian Minister of Power Barth Nnaji said, "Nigeria intends to sit down and properly evaluate what happened in Japan and weigh the risk against national interest," The Vanguard newspaper reported.
Nnaji made his observation after meeting with nuclear power specialists from Russia’s Rosatom atomic agency, who are in the country to seek government's assistance to commence the construction of Nigeria’s first nuclear power plant.
Minister of Science and Technology Ita Oko-Bassey Ewa said that “a draft project implementation agreement has been prepared and ready for signing,” adding that “follow up meetings are now being initiated to discuss modalities for its implementation.”
Speaking to reporters in the capital Abuja Rosatom Director-General Nikolai Spassy stressed that nuclear power plants were a safe method of generating electricity, stating that the Russian Federation had an enviable record in the building of such plants, saying, "Russia has a track record in the area of nuclear energy. The peaceful use of nuclear power is the bedrock of development, and the achievement of the federal government’s Vision 20-2020 goals would depend heavily on the development of nuclear power plants in Nigeria."
By. Joao Peixe, Deputy Editor OilPrice.com
Joao is a writer for Oilprice.com