Following its various assessments of Nigeria’s preparedness for nuclear energy use, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has rated Nigeria highly in the area of nuclear energy deployment, radiation safety and emergencies, while it commended the country and the Nigerian Nuclear Regulatory Agency (NNRA), for its efforts and commitment to improving safety and the protection of people and the environment, Vanguard reports.

Team Leader of the IAEA’s Integrated Regulatory Review Service (IRRS) Mission to Nigeria, Mr. Lamberto Matteocci, disclosed this at the end of the 10-day review of Nigeria’s regulatory framework and infrastructure as regards nuclear energy and radiation. The IRRS team observed that Nigeria had decided to include nuclear power in its energy mix to meet an increasing demand for electricity and support economic development, adding that the country had been developing its nuclear power infrastructure for several years.

It however, stated that the NNRA, which is the regulatory body in charge of nuclear and radiation issues in Nigeria, was faced with challenges in ensuring its full independence in decision-making and in developing its competence to effectively conduct regulatory activities, particularly in the light of Nigeria’s planned nuclear power programme. The IRRS team also made recommendations to the Government and the NNRA to help them further enhance the country’s regulatory framework in line with IAEA safety standards.