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Published On: Mon, Apr 21st, 2014

Nuclear technology safe, cheaper to address power challenges – Expert

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nuclear-power-plant-and-smokeAn expert on energy issues, Dr Muhammad Dewu, says nuclear technology is safe and cheaper in addressing the nation’s power challenges.

Speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja at the weekend, Dewu said nuclear application could be used in education, water, industrial and health sectors.

“Nuclear application is very safe and cheap in the long run; relatively safe, in fact the safest I will say, a lot of other benefits are also associated with it.

“When you talk about nuclear, there are other applications you can use it for; power generation is just a small component of it.

“So, if you do not do nuclear you lose out in all these components.

“For example, I can tell you how much actually of Nigeria’s money goes out into the world to be able to get radio isotopes for the treatment of cancer patients.

“By the time you have such plants, such facilities, we should be able to produce our own radio isotopes and you can treat patients in the country,’’ he said.

Dewu, however, admitted that there could be some risks associated with the technology from the generation of radioactive waste.

He said that by the time adequate capacity was developed in the sector, the management of radioactive waste would no longer be a challenge.

The expert, who noted that nuclear technology was always being linked to nuclear bomb and nuclear power plants, stressed that its benefits outweigh the disadvantages.

Dewu, who is also the Director, Centre for Energy Research and Training (CERT), Zaria, Kaduna State, further said:

“It is applicable to every aspect of our lives, be it agriculture or medicine and nuclear technology as far as we are concerned is the safest.

“There is no profession that do not have associated risks and when you compare accidents or incidents in nuclear matters; they are insignificant compared to others.

‘It is very important and significant and any country that wants to prosper technologically and scientifically has to have atomic energy in its plans.

“There are countries that are still operating nuclear power plants and they are doing it credibly well and it is serving them.

“I see no reason why it should not serve Nigeria if we build them,’’ he said. He said paucity of funds had hindered the centre from effectively carrying out its mandate of training and researching into nuclear energy.

According to him, inspite of the funding challenge, Nigeria is still doing well in nuclear applications.

“Compared to other countries, I will say we are not doing very badly, but we should have done better, much better.

“We should have done better because quite a number of countries that we started the nuclear programmes with are far ahead of us,’’ he said. (NAN)

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