Myself, I Do Not Want This Electricity in Nigeria

Myself, I Do Not Want This Electricity in Nigeria

Nigeria has closed a $20 billion agreement with Russia’s state-owned nuclear energy company, Rosatom. Representing Nigeria, Nigeria Atomic Energy Commission signed the deal with the Russian nuclear energy firm and the latter will build four plants for total capacity of 4,800 MW, Premium Times reports.

At a meeting in Abu Dhabi in October, 2017, Russia signed an agreement with Nigeria to build and operate a nuclear power plant, the first of its kind on the continent, as well as a research centre that would house a nuclear research reactor.

The agreement was a furtherance of a memorandum of understanding signed last year between the Nigeria Atomic Energy Commission, NAEC, and Rosatom for the construction of four nuclear power plants at the cost $20 billion (more than N6 trillion). The four plants will have a total capacity of 4,800 megawatts by 2035.

Anton Moskvin, Vice President for Marketing and Business Development, Rosatom Overseas (a subsidiary of Rosatom), and Simon Mallam, Chairman of NAEC, signed the agreement on behalf of Rosatom and Nigeria respectively.

I know nothing of the use of nuclear energy in electricity. I mean, I know nothing except what they taught me in Physics in secondary school. But I am concerned because Nigeria cannot even manage a simple goat farm. Now you want to manage reactors. What if budget is delayed for critical maintenance? I mean, our experience with Ogoni disqualifies Nigeria for going into this venture: for all the photo ops for years, government after government, Nigeria continues to neglect the Ogoni people. Who wants its people to suffer the same fate with nuclear if bad things happen?

This is my opinion as a private citizen who can only shout. It does not matter; it is democracy. But if you have access, tell government that if it has $10 billion for electricity, nuclear power is a wrong strategy. Here are simple reasons:

  • Cost and Value: If it commits to solar energy with $10 billion, it would get 10,000 MW over 4,800 MW nuclear would bring (I assume 1MW for $1 million which is pessimistic but reasonable).
  • Jobs: Solar energy is distributed and would create at least 100x jobs than nuclear. In other words, if nuclear could create 3,000 jobs, going through solar will give Nigeria 300,000 jobs in the process.
  • Safety: Solar energy is safer for Nigerian citizens. I think everyone would want it over nuclear energy.
  • Transmission: Nuclear power will not fix our transmission line problem. Technically, Nigerian electricity problem is not exclusively power generation to need nuclear energy. There are many gas power plants that can double capacities in Nigeria but the discos cannot receive the power to distribute to consumers because our transmission system is broken. A nuclear power deal does not fix that problem. We can have these four nuclear power stations producing and yet consumers will not have power. Solar, to a large extent through distributed design, would make the need of transmission system minimal since there could be many pockets of solar plants spread across Nigeria.

Please do not attack President Buhari and his party on this, this plan started in 2009. So, he is simply following the Nigerian business. Nevertheless, we do hope he helps us to stop it.

But its nuclear relationship with Russia did not begin until 2009 when both countries signed an intergovernmental agreement on cooperation in the field of the peaceful usage of nuclear technologies. Shortly after, another agreement was signed on cooperation in design, construction, operation and decommissioning of the Nuclear Power Plant and the Nuclear Research Centre housing a multi-purpose nuclear research reactor.

In 2013, Nigeria signed its Country Programme Framework (CPF), a five-year medium-term planning of technical cooperation between a member state and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that identifies priority areas where the transfer of nuclear technology and technical cooperation resources will be directed to support national development goals

[…]

In May 2016, the Nigeria Atomic Energy Commission signed an agreement with the Russian government for cooperation in the construction of a centre for nuclear science and technology in the country.

They have not mentioned the nuclear sites but I can assure you that this may turn out to be a campaign issue in 2019 election at both the gubernatorial and presidential levels. No Nigerian would want nuclear facility in his or her community. If you think we would not care, you have not visited Federal Secretariat Abuja where most of the toilets have no running water. For nuclear reactors, not having that water can wipe a community. And that is why this deal is not good. This is perhaps the only type of electricity I do not want to use in Nigeria.

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8 thoughts on “Myself, I Do Not Want This Electricity in Nigeria

  1. I agreed with you utterly regarding the issue of using nuclear energy as source of energy n Nigeria due to our poor maintenance habit. Sometimes i wonder who gives them advice in making such a decision, looking at the power project completed by Tesla and the French company Neoen’s Hornsdale, is quit okay call it a bad deal. $20 billion for 4800MW, is farcical.

    Reply
  2. I agreed absolutely with you. And base on the analysis you did above, I think we should for solar energy than this timed bomb called nuclear energy. You know Nigerian technocrats whenever they are giving advice to politicians, they will give them the one that will bring more money for their choppings. So even if they know about solar they will prefer where there is more money.
    we are not ripe for solar. I support government energy mix policy but this should not include nuclear. We haven’t gone nuclear yet. We are still dealing with the basics please.
    And Prof thank you for also mentioning that this is not an issue of a political party but of successive governments or else you would have started seeing insults and counter-insults on your wall.
    May that is why you are not seeing much comments on it, despite its importance to our lives and national development.
    God bless you.

    Reply
    1. Thanks Emmanuel for the comment. Most are commenting on the LinkedIn feed. It is a big issue and as you noted, I made sure I took out any political element by noting that it started at least an admin before the current one. I do hope it fails because Nigeria does not need nuclear power.

      Reply
  3. Well said sir. Politicians look for big photo opportunities and sources to address their bank accounts rather than the real needs of its people.
    Proper maintenance and management of Nigerian oil wealth shows that it’s has been mismanaged massively financially and environmentally too. The money will.be best allocated to address health, education and cleaning up the pollution that currently exists across the country using sustainable principles.

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  4. One of the biggest issues with Nuclear Technology is getting rid of the waste. It is one of the most troublesome areas of the industry. Cleanup and disposal comes at a great cost and it has to be carried out during the life of the plant and at the end of the life of the plant.

    We have people who can do these jobs but is our government committed to the safe implementation of these tasks. They are expensive, heavily research based and need to planned for at the outset of the program.

    I am 110% in favour of solar energy, and the Government actively promoting the domestic installation of photo-voltaic cells combined a excess power buyback of unused power on to the grid will go a long way to solve the power shortage we experience in Nigeria

    Reply
    1. “Cleanup and disposal comes at a great cost and it has to be carried out during the life of the plant and at the end of the life of the plant” I think Ogoniland is a test bench why we have no reason to go into nuclear. I mentioned Ogoni because I was thinking of cleaning

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