South Africa has the continent of Africa's only nuclear power plant. But where will the second be built? Will it be in Egypt, where the site of a potential nuclear power plant has already been selected – at El Dabaa on the Mediterranean Sea? Or will it be Uganda, where the International Atomic Energy Agency has recently concluded a preliminary review designed to assess the country's preparedness for the responsibilities of nuclear power?
Sudan, Kenya and Zambia have also indicated they are in pursuit of nuclear power on a continent that is woefully short of electricity, according to a report in All Africa.
That report concludes that nuclear power is too expensive for most of the African countries vying for nuclear power plants. The article, using rudimentary figures and guesswork, notes that the 30GW nuclear power plant under consideration in Uganda is likely to cost 15 times the country's gross domestic product, which is $24 billion. (Statistics Times puts Uganda's gross domestic product at $27.6 billion and Zambia's at $26.2 billion. The other potential African possibilities have gross domestic products of $253.2 (Egypt), $88.2 billion (Kenya) and $41.6 billion (Sudan).
One can assume that assume that countries with such small budgets to work with cannot afford massive nuclear power plants or the extensive infrastructure that guarantees the safety and security required by modern standards the article said.That leaves Nigeria – Gross domestic product: $408.6 billion.
On Thursday, at the 2018 AtomExpo in Sochi, Russia, the head of Nigeria's Atomic Energy Commission (Nigatom) Simon Pesco Mallam said that Nigeria would have its first nuclear power plant up and running by the mid-2020s.
“We have a roadmap and that is by the mid-2020s. We hope we can get a commericial plant and add three more in five to 10 years,” Mallam told reporters.
Although making the statement in Russia, where Rosatom is vigorously pursuing its export potential, Mallam said that Russian builders were not the only ones in contention for contracts in Nigeria. “We have a good agreement with Russia, but we have not signed any contractual agreements yet,” BizWatch Nigerial quoted Mallam as saying. “We have signed operational agreements, project development agreements, but not any commercial contractual agreements,” he said.
He also said it was “categorically not true,” that Nigeria had signed a $20 billion deal with Rosatom.
However, Nigeria has been discussing site selection and design with Rosatom. The talks on such specifics began in April 2015. It has been reported that two potential sites have been selected – in the states of Akwa Ibom and Kogi – but neither Rosatom nor the Nigerian government have confirmed such reports.
Mallam did confirm that Nigeria needed to break away from the “problematic” use of natural gas. “We can't supply gas to our iPPs and gas pipes are being sabotaged daily,” he said. “We need to move from the former way of doing things into the future,” Mallam said.
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