Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Nigeria goes nuclear?

Dont laugh: the Nigerian govt is at the early stages of planning its first nuclear power plant - click here for more. I'm not sure if the international community would welcome this development. How well could the site be protected from militants, given the inability to find peace in the Delta? With Nigeria's track record on maintenance, would this technology really be welcome? How would the eventual deccomissioning be planned?

Rather than go with the UK and think nuclear, a more enlightened approach would consider the latest advances in alternative energy, such as heliostatic systems as shown in the image on the left. A bank of mirrors focuses the suns rays onto a steam turbine, generating cheap low-carbon electricity. The entire city of Seville is soon to be powered by one such system. With the availability of land in Northern Nigeria, and the vastly cheaper costs involved compared to nuclear, as well as the reduced security risk, this seems like a more sensible option to explore. Each station is capable of producing (at current technology levels), 10 to 15 Mw of power. Each city would in time have its own heliostat station, decentralising power via a smart grid system, reducing transmission issues in the process.

For more on heliostatic power, see


BroTee 4:02 pm  

This sounds like a better idea really. The government cannot guarantee the security of a Nuclear Power Plant.
Saved By Jesus

Anonymous,  7:48 pm  

Pls don't make me laugh. Nigeria and Nuclear in the same sentence? Hahn!

africa entertainment and sports 11:57 pm  

What Nigeria needs most now are stable electricity,free qualitative education,and peace in the Niger Delta.Other things should be secondary.

Beyond 8:17 am  

more power to naija govt, hope they will keep up with the good work.

Calabar Gal 8:57 am  

Happy New Year Jeremy.

Another Half baked project -I hope. Nigeria should be investing in other productive projects and not experimenting with Nuclear Power which will most likely be abandoned sooner than later.

For the love of me 12:34 pm  

My people say that it is only the mad man that scratches his buttocks, when it is his neck that is itching him. which one be nuclear plant again?

Through these eyes 3:38 pm  

This idea does not seem to me to work for Nigeria. We need at least 30,000mW of power. Since each plant only generates 5mW of power, it means we will need 6000 plants resurrected within the Nation to provide the country with electricity.

I think this method better serves smaller countries, such as Isreal as mentioned in the article. It takes 45 minutes to drive from one end of Isreal to the next. I think for a country as big and populous as Nigeria, we need a power system with a much greater output capacity.

Thanks though for the suggestion.

nneoma 4:07 am  

not a bad idea...but there is a part of me that imagines a future nuclear Nigeria in which the likes of even former super-powers shudder....i am just kidding by the way....seriously, just kidding

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