Abuja — The Nigerian Nuclear Regulatory Authority (NNRA) has assured Nigerians that safety would be its watch word when the country starts generating electricity from nuclear power.
Dr Martins Ogharandukun, the Acting Director General of the organisation, gave the assurance on Wednesday in Abuja .
"We will not say whether nuclear power is right or wrong, but we will ensure that in deploying it, it is safe and in accordance with an international law.
"I will not advocate for any particular technology, but whichever technology any person wants, must be subjected to all the necessary processes and all the assessments must be done by NNRA.
"Second, it must have international safeguards, and once it is in conformity with national and international laws and regulations it is okay."
Ogharandukun said the Federal Government had decided to use nuclear technology to generate electricity and that it was in a better position to know the right energy mix it wanted.
He explained that NNRA was charged with the responsibility of ensuring security and safety in the deployment of nuclear technology for peaceful purposes in the country.
Ogharandukun said the agency had rectified a number of treaties relating to nuclear energy, and that the agreements were being domesticated.
He also said that steps had been taken to strengthen regulations for the country's nuclear sector and that a bill in that respect had passed the first reading in the National Assembly.
The NNRA boss explained that using nuclear technology for electricity generation required a gradual and systematic process, adding that NNRA was partnering the Atomic Energy Commission of Nigeria to ensure that the process was safe and in line with global standards.
He listed the requirements to be met before deploying nuclear energy in any country to include authorisation of the sites, design and construction of reactor and commissioning and decommissioning of the reactor at the end of its life span. (NAN)