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NIGERIA’S QUEST FOR NUCLEAR ENERGY TECHNOLOGY: ADVANTAGES, PROBLEMS, AND CHALLENGES

Efem N. Ubi and Maurice A. Coker

The IUP Journal of Governance and Public Policy, 2008, vol. III, issue 1, 7-22

Abstract: Nuclear energy technology serves dual purposes; firstly, it is of utmost benefit to mankind and secondly, in the form of nuclear weapons and nuclear terrorism, it poses a great threat to human existence. This negative aspect of nuclear technology has made it contentious since the first global catastrophic appearance of nuclear bombs at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It has also given rise to a series of treaties on a wide range of regulatory and disarmament initiatives and a number of international test ban and proliferation agreements, including Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), and the Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone Treaty (NWFZ), etc. These treaties were initiated as a safeguard against the extinction of life on earth and to regulate, prevent excessive production and proliferation of nuclear weapons among states with/without nuclear capability, and non-state actors alike, and also as an agreement to stop the test of nuclear weapons in the world. Today, some countries in Africa have also decided to exploit nuclear energy technology to boost their power supply. Nigeria is one such country. However, in harnessing the technology, Nigeria faces some challenges. How to reduce radiation risk and manage the waste? Does Nigeria have the financial capacity? What about secret weapon production? And, finally, does the country have the wherewithal and ability to set up nuclear energy technology? These are big and very complex challenges that Nigeria has to grapple with. The article concludes that though nuclear energy technology has its uses, Nigeria should prioritise its focus on immediate needs.

Date: 2008
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