The Federal Government is desirous of tackling the pathetic power problem by building a nuclear power plant by 2025, Director-General, National Nuclear Regulatory Authority (NNRA), Prof. Lawrence Dim, has said.

Although it is not the mandate of the agency to develop the plant, Dim said that information from the National Atomic Energy Commission (NAEC) indicated that the date was realisable.

Speaking at the 4th National Workshop for Editors and Correspondents on Nuclear Safety and Radiological Protection in Abuja at the weekend, he noted that it takes between 10 to 20 years to build a nuclear power plant, even in the developed world. But, he pointed out that, “once it is set up, it can last up to 80 years.”

He, however, stated that the 2025 target was not sacrosanct.

The DG urged Nigerians not to be scared of nuclear power plants because the 18 stages stipulated by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) for the setting up of a nuclear power programme would be strictly adhered to, adding that Nigerians were not known to be careless people.   

Dim also disclosed that some radioactive and nuclear materials had found their way into the country before the establishment of the regulatory body, but promised that the agency was determined to always search for and safeguard the high risk materials.

He said NNRA, in collaboration with the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), had developed methodologies for handling emergency preparedness through simulation.

In his presentation on the regulatory control programme of NNRA, Dr. Yau Idris revealed that over 70 per cent of x-ray machines in the country were not functional, adding that many of the hospitals in Nigeria operate without NNRA license.