Monday, 3 July 2017

International Atomic Energy Agency in Nigeria To  Assess Nuclear Regulatory Infrastructure

The Integrated Regulatory Review Service (IRRS) mission of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) yesterday arrived Nigeria to assess the nuclear infrastructure in the country.

Speaking at the opening ceremony in Abuja, the Director General, Nigerian Nuclear Regulatory Authority (NNRA), Prof. Lawrence Dim, noted that the “IAEA and international nuclear professionals and experts in the field of nuclear science and technology, are in Nigeria today (yesterday) to assess our regulatory infrastructure.”

He explained that the IAEA had selected its professionals on the basis of competence and expertise to inspect Nigerian’s nuclear regulatory infrastructure.

Dim, acknowledged the fact that the nuclear regulatory process is international in nature and the practice are always advocated and applied.

The authority, according to him, will become an independent nuclear regulator when the nuclear safety, security and safeguard bill is signed into law.

He added that NNRA has prepared the bill which the IAEA has reviewed and is now set for onward presentation to the National Assembly for passage into law.

The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu, who declared the ceremony opened, said that the ministry will continue to live up to its expectation of ensuring nuclear safety while celebrating closely with an international agency such as IAEA, and its expert advice, radioactive equipment and training.

His Senior Special Technical Adviser, Mr. Adegbite Adeniji who represented him, said that Nigeria was grateful to the international agency for granting her request for a peer review.

Meanwhile, the IRRS Coordinator, Mr. Theodros Hailu, disclosed that the mission was to assess the national regulatory framework of nuclear, radiation and safety.

The team, he said, which would remain in Nigeria in the next 12 days, will send its findings and recommendations to the federal government.

The chairman, House Committee on Petroleum Upstream, Hon. Victor Nwokolo raised concern about the security of nuclear materials in Nigeria.

Speaking with journalists, he explained that “what I was saying is that one, as days pass by, the nuisance in our society develop more sophisticated methods of bringing arms against the state.

“In a nutshell or in a very clear language, we want these materials to be properly secured so that this issue of a bomb blast, the same materials that are used in our mining sector, the same materials that are used by our quarries, are what they also use in this crime.”

He noted that the propensity to use the materials for committing a crime has made it necessary to ensure that they do not go to the wrong hands.

Culled from: The Nation Newspaper