Nuclear Facilities

Nuclear Facilities

The Nigeria Nuclear Research Reactor (NIRR-I)

Location and Technical Specification

The Reactor is located at the Centre for Energy Research and Training (CERT) at Ahmadu Bello University in Zaria, Kaduna State, Nigeria.

It is a pool type reactor owned by the Nigeria Atomic Energy Commission (NAEC) with the assistance of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) under a Technical Cooperation (TC) Programme

The reactor is a 30 kW Miniature Neuron Source (MNSR) installed in 1999

It attained criticality on 3rd February 2004

It was commissioned in 2004 and Licensed by NNRA on 1st June 2004

It has Neutron flux: ~1012 cm–2s–1 and One central control rod used for regulating power level, compensating for fuel burnup and for startup and shutdown

It is a small, compact and safe reactor that employs HEU as the fuel, light water as the moderator/coolant, and beryllium as the reflector

It was designed for use in universities, hospitals and research institutes mainly for NAA, limited production of short-lived radioisotopes and training.

The NIRR-I has  the following Economic Uses

  • Geochemical and soil fertility mapping of Nigeria
  • Trace element abundances in Nigerian crude oils and lubricants.
  • Determination of nutrients and heavy metals in Nigerian food and beverages as well as bromine and iodine in medicinal herbs by epithermal NAA
  • Use of k0-epithermal NAA techniques for the determination of U, Th, K in archaeological materials
  • Elemental analysis of flesh, bones and gills of popularly consumed fish in Nigeria to improve nutrition and health.

 Future Economic Use of NIRR-1

Study of the levels of toxic and heavy elements in wells, rivers, bottled and public water supplies, as well as monitoring of pollutants in air, water and sediments.

Doping trace elements in ceramics and silicon wafers.

Elemental analysis to examine evidence from crimes such as hair, nail and serum samples, and for the identification of the age of pottery and metal artifacts.

 The Gamma Irradiation Facility (GIF)

Location and Technical Specification

The GIF, a semi-commercial multidisciplinary facility, was acquired by the Federal Government of Nigeria mainly for the application of irradiation technology in Nigeria for socio-economic development

The facility located at the Nuclear Technology Centre, km 32 Zuba-Lokoja road, Abuja

It was commissioned and licensed by the NNRA in the third quarter of 2006 under the Sheda Science and Technology Complex  (SHESTCO) Management

In 2008 the management of the facility was transferred to the Nigeria Atomic Energy Commission (NAEC), the current operator

The facility is the largest on the continent of Africa with initial activity of the Cobalt-60 as 300,000 Ci (upgradeable to 1,000,000 Ci)

The GIF GS1000, Panorama IV Cobalt-60 wet source  was manufactured by Framatome ANP GmbH an AREVA and Siemens Company based in German

Economic Use of the GIF (Food Storage)

The multipurpose gamma irradiation facility was acquired as a pilot plant by the Federal Government of Nigeria for application in agriculture, medicine and industry with emphasis on:

Sprout inhibition of onions, potatoes, yams, etc. to preserve them in order to make the products available all the year round

Insect disinfestations of grains and complete elimination of insects in products (e.g. maize, beans, sorghum, millet, etc.), cash crops (e.g. cocoa, kola nuts, etc.) and flour products

Reduction of microbial load in spices (e.g. chilli pepper, ginger, etc.) particularly for export;

Microbial decontamination of meat, pork, poultry, fish, seafood (e.g. shrimps, lobsters, crabs, etc) for local consumption and for export;

Delay ripening in fruits (e.g. mangoes, bananas, plantains, tomatoes, etc.); in other to get them to local markets and for export particularly to West Africa Sub-region

Economic Use of the GIF (Reasearch)

Plant breeding to boost food production through the production of high yielding and disease resistant crops and plants (e.g. roots and tubers such as yams, low cyanide cassava, etc.);

Sterile insect techniques (SIT) in the eradication of pests that destroy farmland and adversely affects animal production;

Radio-sterilization of medical devices, pharmaceutical and cosmetic products and packages (e.g. syringes, catheter, swabs, sterile solutions, hypodermic needles, surgical blades, surgical gloves, biological tissue, blood, blood transfusion equipment etc.)

Cross-linking in polymers to improve mechanical, electrical and thermal properties of plastics (e.g. cable & wire products, plastic pipes for hot water in hotels and other house use, etc.) and vulcanization of our natural rubber latex;

Application in the Plywood and Wood Industry particularly in the production of particleboards using saw dust and waste wood shaving.