4 reasons Nigeria should avoid nuclear energy for now

1. Storing cancer-causing nuclear waste can be very very problematic

Why do I say so? The waste gotten from nuclear plants continues to be radioactive for tens to hundreds of thousands of years!

Presently in the United States, most radioactive waste is stored in temporary, above-ground facilities.

Unfortunately, these facilities are running out of storage space, so the US nuclear industry is turning to costly and potentially unsafe alternatives.

In terms of landmass, the US is many times bigger than Nigeria and they are running out of storage space. And some states in the US have more landmass than our entire country.

So, we need to think of how to store radioactive nuclear waste that causes cancer if space begins to run out.

As for the more costly alternatives, the US nuclear industry is groaning about the amount of money they are currently spending. Can Nigeria, with our oil dependent economy afford these costly alternatives?

2. Nuclear proliferation:

Will Nigerians be there if a greedy public official is bribed to sell restricted nuclear fuel to people that need it not for energy but to build a nuclear bomb?

I ask this because if such a thing happens, the West are likely  to put pressure on Nigeria to abandon it’s nuclear program. – the same way Nigeria was pressured to handover Charles Taylor years ago.

What does it profit a nation to spend billions on nuclear energy and then abandon it just like that?

Not saying that this will surely happen. But if we are setting up nuclear plants, we had better make extra sure that corrupt officials don’t come any where near them.

Today, media reports have it that our crude oil/petrol is being smuggled across our borders and in the high seas.

Imagine if some people that the world doesn’t want to have nuclear weapons come in and buy nuclear fuel from some corrupt official, smuggle it out, and use it to build a nuclear bomb or a dirty bomb.

The world would invent a new phrase to describe ‘Nigeria’s corruption’ . Maybe 410 instead of 419.

3. National security

Needless to say, if you have nuclear plants, you’d need to beef up security in them.

Currently, our police force is very over-stretched dealing with 170 million energetic Nigerians. Do we have to add unnecessary new nuclear burden as part of their responsibilities where we have cheap coal and renewable energy options? I don’t think so.

4. Nuclear Accidents

Nuclear accidents are a very high risk. When the Chernobyl nuclear accident occured, the initial emergency response involved 500,000 personel – 500,000 people had to abandon daily hustle because a nuclear accident that should never have happened occured.

It cost 18 billion Soviet Rubbles or US $68 billion in today’s (2019) figures. In Nigeria, we are struggling to borrow US$25 billion for basic development because Forex is scarce.

Can we afford to save US$68 billion just in case? Not for urgent development o, but just in case. Abegi, forget matter.

In any case, where is the $68 billion sef? That is the amount Russia used in damage control after Chernobyl o.

The nuclear accident in Chernobyl led to increased cases of thyroid cancer in children living around the disaster site.

It also led to deaths from acute radiation syndrome. Nuclear is not child’s play o.

Nigeria ronu! An Igbo Proverb says ‘Use your tongue to count your teeth’. Another proverb says ‘Look before you leap’. Let us shine our eyes well well before we leap o. Me I don talk my own.

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