Nigerian government officials have met with their counterparts from Russia in preparation for a deal that would see the country site some nuclear power projects in Nigeria on a Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) basis.
During the meeting with Russian nuclear power giant, Rosatom, in Abuja, acting Chairman of the Nigeria Atomic Energy Commission (NAEC), Prof. Ahmed Yusuf, said projects would be useful to the military as well as in agriculture, health, medicine, environment and enhancing the supply of water resources.
One of the facilities to be cited in Nigeria, he said, is a multi-purpose reactor complex and a laboratory that can carry out silicon doping, material testing and radiating facility to prolong the shelve lives of food, promote export and reduce wastages.
In addition, there will be small and modular reactors that can be sited in isolated places for off-grid power, which will be integrated into the national electricity supply chain, he said.
"We have agreed on the terms and standards of the agreement. Between now and the end of 2022, a blueprint will come out and the issue of contractual agreement and the signing between Nigeria and Russia Federation will be very clear to both parties.
"It could be on knowledge transfer, power or agriculture, but until we finish the feasibility study and evaluate the cost implication and who will contribute what, we have had discussions with the federal ministry of finance, budget and national planning to see how we can integrate our next year feasibility studies into the national budget, "Yusuf added.
He noted that the federal ministry of power was also being carried along to find ways to factor it into its energy master plan.
"For us, electricity is very important and if we are going to contribute to the national grid, we have discussed on how many nuclear power plants we intend to do and the need to expand our grid capacity before accommodating this kind of activities," he added.
In his remarks, Vice President of Rosatom Africa, Ryan Collier, said that as one of the pioneers of the nuclear industry, the company has traditionally been at the forefront of the international nuclear market, including nuclear power plant construction, uranium mining and enrichment, as well as nuclear fabrication and supply.