1. Introduction

This report is issued according to Article 5 of the Convention on Nuclear Safety (CNS). Nigeria is not a nuclear State according to the terms of the CNS. However, this report will give a brief overview of the nuclear research activities going on in the country and on how Nigeria is implementing the different Articles of the CNS. Considering also the fact that Nigeria has taken a national decision to harness electricity from nuclear power, the report shall provide an overview of the steps being taken in respect of nuclear safety for the Project.


2. Overview of the Development of Nuclear Power Programme

The activities leading to the development of the nuclear power programme dates back to 1976 when the Nigeria Atomic Energy Commission Act No.46 of 1976 was promulgated. The Act No. 46 created NAEC which however was not operational until July, 2006 with the appointment of its pioneer Director-General.


For regulation and licensing, the Nigerian Nuclear Regulatory Authority (NNRA) was established by the Nuclear Safety and Radiation Protection Act No. 19 of 1995, and mandates the Authority to regulate all activities ionizing radiation in the country, including the enforcement of all nuclear laws and regulations. The Authority became operational in May, 2001.


3. National Decision Process

The Federal Government in its effort to improve the energy generation in the country inaugurated an Inter-Ministerial Committee on Energy Resources in April, 2004. This committee assessed and quantified all the major energy resources in the country and identified nuclear energy as a major potential source and was recommended for consideration by the Federal Government of Nigeria. Also, this recommendation was further affirmed through analytical studies using appropriate modelling tools by the ECN in 2006.


4. National Institutional Framework

In recognition of the multifaceted nature of a nuclear power programme, the sustainable and successful implementation of the programme entails full participation of several other national stakeholder institutions. In this regard, the main stakeholder institutions for the planning, management and implementation of the National Nuclear Power Programme are as indicated below:

         i.            The NAEC which is mandated as the national focal institution for atomic energy development in Nigeria. Some nuclear energy research centres have been established and are involved in manpower training and capacity building;

         ii.            The Nigerian Nuclear Regulatory Authority (NNRA) is the national nuclear regulator; established by Act 19 of 1995, became operational in 2001. Empowered to licence and regulate the operations of the nuclear power industry and the use of radioactive sources; Has a national institute for radiation protection and research which is involved in manpower training;

         iii.            The Energy Commission of Nigeria (ECN) - responsible for energy policy and planning;

         iv.            The National Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) - electricity pricing;

         v.            The National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency   (NESREA) – for environmental protection; and

         vi.            The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) – emergency planning and management.


These agencies and institutions amongst others constitute the Nuclear Energy Programme Implementation Committee (NEPIC).


5. Implementation of the CNS

With Nigeria’s expression of political commitment in 2005 to harness nuclear energy for electricity generation, there arose the need for the country to demonstrate the peaceful and transparent nature of our nuclear power programme. Thus in July 2005, the Nigerian Nuclear Regulatory Authority in conjunction with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology organized the First National Seminar on Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty - Challenges and Opportunities. Part of the recommendations of the National Seminar was for Nigeria to, as a matter of priority, ratify the CNS amongst others. Consequently, Nigeria ratified the CNS in 2007. Nigeria is also party to the following amongst others:

         i.            Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT)

         ii.            Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement (CSA)

         iii.            Convention on Early Notification of a Nuclear Accident and the Convention on Assistance in Case of a Nuclear or Radiological Emergency

         iv.            Joint Convention on the Safety of Spent Fuel Management and on the Safety of Radioactive Waste Management

         v.            Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Materials and its amendment

         vi.            Instrument of Acceptance of the Agreement on the Privileges and Immunities of the International Atomic Energy Agency

         vii.            Protocol Additional to the Agreement between the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the International Atomic Energy Agency for the Application of Safeguards

         viii.            Vienna Convention on Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage


The obligations under the CNS cover:

         i.            Review of safety of existing nuclear installations

         ii.            Establishment of legislative and regulatory framework, establishment of regulatory body and responsibility of the license holder.

         iii.            General safety considerations for priority to safety, financial and human resources, human factors, quality assurance, assessment and verification of safety, radiation protection and emergency preparedness.

         iv.        Safety of installations during siting, design & construction and operation.


5.1 Implementing Procedure: Legislative and Regulatory Framework

Nigeria in 1995 promulgated the Nuclear Safety and Radiation Protection Act (Act), which established the Nigerian Nuclear Regulatory Authority (NNRA). The Act also charged and empowered the NNRA with the mandate of nuclear safety and radiological protection regulation.


With Nigeria’s accession to the CNS and the other listed instruments on nuclear safety, security, physical protection, safeguards and radioactive waste/spent fuel management, there arose the need to domesticate the provisions of these instruments. Nigeria vide a Technical Cooperation Agreement with the IAEA therefore reviewed the Act in 2006, culminating in the production of the Nuclear Safety, Security and Safeguards Bill (NSSS Bill). The NSSS Bill makes provisions for the establishment of a licensing procedure for nuclear installations.


6. Regulatory Body

As indicated earlier, Nigeria established the NNRA in 2001 and the NNRA has emplaced a regulatory infrastructure within the context of the Act to effectively fulfil its regulatory functions. The NNRA has been able to carry out its mandate through a system of registration, licensing and inspection of practices involving ionizing radiation and the enforcement of compliance with the provisions of the Act.


The independence of NNRA and in consequence its regulatory decisions are ensured by placing the NNRA under the supervision of a governmental ministry independent from other institutions that use and/or apply ionizing radiation. NNRA is financed from federal government appropriation through national budgetary allocations and from services rendered by the Authority. Sections 12 (2) (a) and (b) of the Act respectively covers sum that is provided by the Federal Government through budgetary provisions and sums accruing to the Authority from services rendered.

Furthermore, NNRA has taken necessary measures to have in place the basic administrative and technical capability to support its activities, through its structures based on Section 9 (1) of the Act.


6.1 IAEA Expert Mission

The NNRA received IAEA Expert Mission to Review the current status of Regulatory Infrastructure for Safety of NPP at the NNRA in September 2012. The Mission addressed issues bordering on leadership for safety and importantly human resource development. Also, the NNRA hosted an IAEA Workshop on Regulatory Framework and Licensing Process in Nigeria in December 2013.


6.2 EPREV Mission

An Emergency Preparedness Review (EPREV) mission was conducted by the IAEA in Nigeria in June 2015. The EPREV missions are designed to provide a peer review of emergency preparedness and response (EPR) arrangements in a country based on the IAEA safety standards. The purpose of this EPREV mission was to conduct a review of the Nigerian nuclear and radiological EPR arrangements and capabilities, with the consideration that Nigeria is embarking on a nuclear power programme.


The EPREV team noted the excellent cooperation of all organizations involved in the review mission. In particular, the team commended the openness and transparency of all parties met during the mission.


6.3 IRRS Mission

In July 2017 an IAEA Integrated Regulatory Review Service (IRRS) mission was conducted in Nigeria. The purpose of this peer review was to review Nigeria’s regulatory framework for nuclear and radiation safety. The IRRS mission covered all civilian facilities and activities in Nigeria. The review compared the Nigerian regulatory framework for nuclear and radiation safety against IAEA safety standards as an international benchmark for safety. The mission was also used to exchange information and experience between the IRRS team members and the Nigerian counterparts in the areas covered by the IRRS.


The IRRS team identified a good practice and made recommendations and suggestions where improvements were necessary to enhance NNRA’s regulatory framework in line with the IAEA safety standards.



7. Regulating Nuclear Power Plant Siting in Nigeria

In 2007, the Nigeria Atomic Energy Commission (NAEC) constituted an Inter-Ministerial Committee for the Selection of candidate sites for the possible installation of Nuclear Power Plants (NPPs). The Committee screened and ranked 7 Possible Candidate Sites before announcing 2 candidate NPP sites. By the powers conferred on it by Sections 6 and 47 of the Act and in anticipation of the possible authorization of these NPP Sites, the NNRA in 2007 set up a Technical Advisory Committee to Draft Regulation/Guidance for the Licensing of Sites for NPPs. This eventually led to the completion of the Draft Regulations for the Licensing of Sites for Nuclear Power Plants. The main objective of these Regulations is to establish the requirements for the elements of site evaluation for a NPP so as to characterize fully the site specific conditions pertinent to the safety of an NPP to protect the public and the environment from the possible radiological consequences of nuclear incidents or accidents.


To further ensure compliance with international legal requirements, the Draft Regulations was put before an IAEA international panel of experts during the National Workshop on the Safety Requirements for Nuclear Power Plant Siting; held in October 2009 organized by NNRA and IAEA in Abuja. The workshop, which was under the aegis of a Technical Cooperation Project between Nigeria and the IAEA - Development of National Capabilities for Regulating of a Nuclear Power Plant - IAEA NIR/9/010 was to appraise current progress of national efforts and determine future progression of site licensing efforts, deliberate on all safety requirements for the siting of NPP and review the draft regulation/guidance for licensing site for nuclear power plants (NPP) In Nigeria.


The Mission recommended amongst others the content of the acceptance criteria for approval of the Site Evaluation Report to be presented by the Applicant; the Regulations should be revised to use IAEA Safety Requirements for Site Evaluation for defining in a logical and structured form the general and specific requirements.


The above IAEA recommendations amongst others were integrated into the draft regulations at a national stakeholders workshop held in Abuja July 2010. The final draft regulations emplace a number of safety requirements for Operators of nuclear power plants, including periodic safety reviews. It further allows for only fixed term site licence lasting for 10 years at a time. It should be noted, however that in Nigeria, different institutions are by law saddled with the responsibility of issuing different permits for the different aspects of the NPP site safety e.g. environment, land use etc. In this regard, the NNRA shall work closely with these institutions in achieving its mandate. The draft regulations have been finalized and are for gazetting by the Federal Ministry of Justice.


Additionally, the following Regulations and Guidance Documents are in various stages of preparation:

         i.            Draft Nigerian Regulations for Design and Construction of Nuclear Facilities

         ii.            Draft Nigerian Regulations for Commissioning of Nuclear Power Plants

         iii.            Draft Nigerian Regulations for the Operation of Nuclear Power Plants

         iv.            Draft Nigerian Regulations for the Decommissioning of Nuclear Power Plants

         v.            Draft Nigerian Regulations on Emergency Preparedness for Radiological and Nuclear;

         vi.            Draft Nigerian Regulations on Establishment of Integrated Management Systems for Facilities and Activities

         vii.            Draft Nigerian Regulations on Financial Protection and Civil Liabilities for Nuclear Facilities

         viii.            Draft Guideline for Radiological Environmental Impact Assessment.


Due cognizance of the Fukushima Daiichi accident and provisions of the Vienna Declaration on Nuclear Safety are being taken in the development of these draft regulations. Importantly, the experience gained from the accident strongly guides the drafting process to ensure adequate provisions are made to guard against against accidents induced by external factors with many plants on the same site


8. International Cooperation

Conscious of the need to partner with national and international institutions to amongst others build requisite capacity and exchange experience on nuclear safety and other related matters, and in line with Section 4 (f) of the Act, Nigeria is member of the Regulatory Cooperation Forum (RCF) as well as the Forum of Nuclear Regulatory Bodies in Africa (FNRBA).


Also, Nigeria is in cooperation with the European Commission under the Instrument for Nuclear Safety Cooperation (INSC) Project MC.03/10 titled “Training and Tutoring for Experts of Nuclear Regulatory Authorities and their TSOs for Developing or Strengthening their Regulatory and Technical Capabilities” for building requisite regulatory capacity.

Additionally, the NNRA is in discussions on cooperation with other nuclear regulatory bodies. In this regard, it is concluding Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) with:

  1. Federal Environmental, Industrial and Nuclear Supervision Service of the Russian Federation; and
  2. National Nuclear Regulator of South Africa.


The MOU are aimed at manpower development of NNRA personnel; strengthening of legislative capacity of NNRA and exchange of experience in safety regulation and regulatory supervision.


Additionally, Nigeria has been submitting her National Report and participating in the CNS Review Meeting; first at the 4th Review Meeting held in 2008, the 5th Review Meeting held in 2011, the 6th Review Meeting held in 2014 and the 7th Review Meeting held in 2017. Also, Nigeria participated at the Diplomatic Conference held in 2015 and supported the adoption of the Vienna Declaration on Nuclear Safety.



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