IAEA chief visits Nigeria, further assesses fledgling nuclear program

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Yukiya Amano visited Nigeria late last week to discuss the agency’s role in supporting the nation's fledgling nuclear power program.

Nigeria expects to construct its first plant, with four 1,200 WMe reactors, by 2035.

The meeting, which focused on the steps Nigeria’s leadership needs to take to facilitate a nuclear energy industry, built on the foundation laid by two IAEA missions to the country last year, during which the IAEA evaluated Nigeria’s readiness for a nuclear program and determined that the country’s emergency-preparedness and response framework was within IAEA standards. However, the IAEA also said the country needs to refine its policies and further develop its abilities to manage spent fuel and radioactive waste.

During this most recent meeting, Amano met with Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari and encouraged the creation of nuclear law in the country, which authorities expect to roll out later this year. Amano encouraged Nigeria to improve its human resources for plant construction, operation and maintenance, and described the leadership, as well as the legal and governance commitments, needed to keep the plant's development on schedule.

The IAEA is also working with Nigeria on other nuclear applications tied to medicine, food and agriculture.


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