Nigeria must rid itself of insurgency and other issues that are threatening its peace and tranquility, if it wants to produce nuclear energy for growth, Chief Executive Officer, Century Power Generation Nigeria Limited, Mr Chukwueloka Umeh, has said.
In a chat with The Nation on phone at the weekend, he said there was nothing wrong with plans by the Federal Government to generate nuclear electricity, adding that countries in Africa and beyond are doing the samething.
Umeh said: Production of nuclear energy by Nigeria is a good step in the right direction. However, the country must not lose sight of the fact it has to deal with insurgency and other acts of terrorism that are gradually creeping into the country. The reason is because nuclear energy is produced with high technology; that must be managed well at all times.”
He continued: ‘’ You would recall that earthquake and tsunami struck in Eastern Japan on March 11, 2011. This caused a serious accident at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant on the northeastern coast of Japan. The earthquake cut off external power to the reactors.Tsunami, which has reached levels more than twice as high as the plant was designed to withstand, disabled backup diesel generators, crippling the reactor cooling systems.
He added that: ‘’As a result of this, battery power was quickly exhausted, and overheating fuel in the plant’s operating reactor cores led to hydrogen explosions that severely damaged three of the reactor’s buildings. Fuel in three of the reactor cores melted, and radiation released from the damaged reactors contaminated a wide area surrounding the plant and forced the evacuation of nearly half a million residents.
He said China and other countries have had a fair share of the accident caused by explosion of nuclear technology.
Nigeria, he said, is battling with Boko Haram and other terrorist activities, adding that any attempt by such groups to tamper with the nuclear technologies can sweep off, for instance, a place like Lagos.
Umeh said in countries where nuclear power plants have been built to produce thousands of electricity megawatts (Mw) needed to bring about socio-economic growth, technologies that can withstand the explosions are provided.
‘’That is the more reason the Federal Government must try and put an end to Boko haram among other activities that are related to insurgency, if it wants Nigeria to benefit from the production of nuclear energy. You can imagine the number of people that would die, the properties that would be lost and other losses in the event that the technologies that produce nuclear energy are tampered with by some disgruntled elements.’’ he said.
Source: The Nation