Group kicks against proposed Nuclear Power Plant in Akwa Ibom

Posted by Effiong Udousoroh, Uyo | 27 June 2015 | 4,323 times

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Policy Alert, a non-governmental organisation (NGO), based in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State capital, has strongly has opposed the Federal Government’s proposal to establish a nuclear power plant in Itu Local Government Area of the state.

The group, in a statement issued yesterday in Uyo, described the decision as “ill-conceived, environmentally unfriendly, cost ineffective and a monumental disaster-in-waiting.”

It recalled that “the Nigerian Atomic Energy Commission (NAEC), recently announced that it had entered into an agreement with Rosatum of Russia, to cooperate on the design, construction, operation and de-commissioning of its first nuclear facility in 2025, to produce 1,200mw of electricity with plan to increase installed capacity to four nuclear plants producing a total capacity of 4,800 megawatts by 2035.”

In the statement signed by its acting Executive Director and Head of Operations, Tijah Bolton-Akpan, the NGO stated that the Federal Government’s plan “does not conform with international standard guiding the implementation of civil nuclear programmes across the globe, which imposes collective safeguards and serve as a check on the quality, health and environmental safety of the proposed project.”

“The project will put several communities and the lives of millions of people at risk. The government is also not clear on its plans to address civil liability issues in line with the Vienna Convention on Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage. In a country like Nigeria with a poor track record in the management of power infrastructure across the country, we have every reason to be disturbed,” the statement stressed.

It stated that “the process is shrouded in secrecy and appears bent of by-passing procurement rules, as details of an agreement entered with the Russian company, Rosatom since 2012 have since not been made public. After throwing billions of dollars at the power sector over the years with little or nothing to show for it, investing a whopping 80 billion dollars in nuclear energy at the time to solve the problem can only amount to a pipe dream, especially if the process of doing so is faulty.”

“Besides, nuclear energy, is globally recognised for not being economically competitive as capital costs remain very high,” the group alleged in the statement.

“We urge NAEC to reconsider its plans and the National Environmental Standard Regulatory Agency (NESREA), the Federal Ministry of Power and the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), to intervene before the agency embarks on the misguided adventure,” the statement added.

•Photo shows Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom.

Source: News Express

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