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Atomic energy experts assess Nigeria’s nuclear framework

A team of atomic energy experts has said Nigeria has a committed regulatory body that works for the continuous improvement of nuclear and radiation safety, but noted challenges related to its independence in implementing regulatory decisions and activities.

The Integrated Regulatory Review Service (IRRS) team from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) today concluded a 10-day mission in which the team assessed the regulatory framework for nuclear and radiation safety in Nigeria.

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“The IRRS team recognizes the strong commitment of Nigeria to improving nuclear and radiation safety. The team was extended full cooperation by all parties in this review,” said team leader Lamberto Matteocci, Technical Coordinator for Nuclear Safety and Radiation Protection at the Italian Institute for Environmental Protection and Research (ISPRA)”.

“We believe the outcome of this mission will be of great help to the country in order to enhance its national regulatory framework,” the team lead further stated.

TheNewsGuru reports the Nigerian Nuclear Regulatory Authority (NNRA) is the body responsible for regulatory oversight in the country.

Nigeria makes extensive use of radiation sources in medical and industrial applications as well as in science and research. The country also has a research reactor used for the analysis of materials and training.

The team of experts made recommendations and suggestions to the Government and the NNRA to help them further enhance the country’s regulatory framework in line with IAEA safety standards.

“The Nigerian Government will work with the IAEA to develop a work-plan for the implementation of the mission’s recommendations and suggestions,” said NNRA Director General Lawrence Dim.

According to the team, the final mission report will be provided to Nigeria in about three months, and the authorities in Nigeria have told the IAEA that they plan to make the report public.

“Nigeria is always ready to cooperate with the Agency in the area of nuclear and radiation safety, as well as in other areas. We are committed to using the IAEA safety standards and international best practices to improve our policy, and legal, technical and regulatory infrastructure,” he further stated.

The 12-member IRRS team comprised senior experts from France, Germany, Greece, India, Italy, Latvia, Morocco, Pakistan, Slovenia, Turkey, and Zimbabwe, as well as three IAEA staff members.