The National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE) in a statement signed by Joe Ajaero, its general secretary has warned the federal government against building a nuclear plant because of the adverse consequences of the facility.
The union is worried that the country does not have the required capacity to manage disasters that may arise from a nuclear accident.
Nigeria recently signed an agreement with a Russian firm, Rosatom, to build four nuclear power plants in the country valued at $80 billion, about N16 trillion.
The power plants, which will have a combined capacity of 4,800 megawatts (mw), are expected to come on stream between 2025 and 2035.
NUEE said that nuclear plants were among the most sophisticated and complex energy facilities and no matter how well designed and engineered, they could have lapses. The union also stated without mincing words, that concerted efforts and political will were required to address the problem of ‘power poverty’ in the country.
According to the statement, the country needs to think outside the box of building nuclear plants because of the attendant consequences; and that nuclear plants in Nigeria would no doubt subject the citizens to unavoidable risks. The union is worried that a combination of human and mechanical error at a nuclear facility could result in significant harm to people and the environment.
It noted that operating nuclear reactors contain large amount of radioactive fission projects which if dispersed, could pose direct radioactive hazards.
“It can also contaminate soil, vegetation and be ingested by humans and animals,” the union added.
The NUEE maintained that it is regrettable that when countries all over the world were abandoning nuclear plants because of the associated consequences, Nigeria was tinkering with the idea.

Johnson Alabi
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