By Olasunkanmi Onifade
The Nigeria Atomic Energy Commission (NAEC) has called for the strengthening of electricity generation through nuclear sources.
The Acting Chairman of the Commission, Mr Mukthar Ali, said this during a media interactive in Abuja on Thursday.
The theme focused on the implementation of Nigeria’s National Nuclear Energy programme and the benefits of Nigeria’s Technical cooperation with the international Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
“Nuclear power produces massive energy and it is carbon-free and maintains the quality of air around us. It is clean energy source with no carbon emissions compared to other sources of electricity.
“It is reliable source of energy which works 24 hours and runs for 60 years with uninterrupted power supply; no other source of power can give you that.
“Another benefit of nuclear sources for electricity generation is the creation of jobs; thousands of Nigerians could work in nuclear facility,” he said.
Ali said the success of the public acceptance of nuclear programme truly was in the hands of the media to constructively criticise in a manner that the entire programme would not be jeopardised in any way.
He said the United Arab Emirates proactively commissioned its first nuclear power plant which was already contributing to the national energy mix of the UAE.
“The constructions of additional nuclear power plant are already underway in the UAE.
“You may recall that the UAE started her nuclear programme long after Nigeria but the public acceptance occasioned by good media reportage got the UAE to attain this milestone in relatively short time,” Ali said.
He said collaboration via Nigeria’s Technical Cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) dates back to over 50 years.
Ali, however, said Nigeria had made huge investment in the IAEA, saying it had also benefited immensely from various technical collaboration with the IAEA some of which included in health, agriculture, research and training.
“It is my belief that this interaction will open doors for a more effective cooperation between the Commission and the media that will enhance public awareness and understanding of nuclear science and technology and usher in the most needed development in that regard.
“This activity we are engaged in today is an element of the Public Awareness and Communication Strategy of the Commission,” he said.
Ali said the media event could not have come at a better time considering progress recorded thus far in the implementation of Nigeria’s nuclear programme.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that NAEC is the focal government agency on all matters relating to the use of nuclear energy and its use for other peaceful applications. (NAN)