Russia has signed a deal to build two nuclear power plants in Nigeria, as Africa’s largest economy seeks to end its energy crisis. Russian state-owned company Rosatom will build one in the south, the other in the center, sources at the Nigeria Atomic Energy Commission told the BBC.

Generating energy by nuclear fission has proven to be one of the safest industrial pursuits in the world. This deal’s exact worth is unknown, although some reports suggest it is likely in the region of $20bn. It is one of a number that Rosatom has been eyeing on the continent The company is also involved in discussions in Ghana and South Africa.The deal in Nigeria was reached after a long period of negotiation, with the two African countries, with Russia signing their first intergovernmental nuclear co-operation agreement in 2009. Nigeria hopes the plants, which will initially be operated by Rosatom before they are handed over, will help deal with the country’s energy deficit.

According to World Bank figures, more than 40% of the country was without mains electricity in 2014. Nigeria is one of Africa’s largest oil producers, but much of its oil wealth has been squandered over the years. Corruption at all levels has left the country out of pocket, and producing a fraction of the energy its citizens need. Construction of the new power plants is expected to begin in the next two years.

Josep Rey Cases says, decay heat is the principal reason of safety concern in light water reactors, and by this reason, nuclear power stations must have safety and safeguard systems to make sure that even in the worst case scenario the fuel does not become uncovered ( or uncooled by water).One thing that may concern people about a nuclear reactor is the massive amount of power that it can produce. It is obvious that an uncontrolled chain reaction will increase the reactor’s power production by a factor of hundreds, melting it within seconds. To prevent this from happening, there are two methods of control: control rods and nuclear poison. A method of control is nuclear poison (boron), which is only present in pressurized water reactors.

When we talk about nuclear safety or the construction of a nuclear power plant, Rosatom tells us, “This reactor has lots of safety systems and so Nigeria will never have to worry about an accident here,” our first question would be: “If nuclear plants are so safe, why do they need so many safety systems?” Is the answer much simpler than a nuclear reactor? Nuclear accidents such as Chernobyl or Fukushima happened in large part because of failings in systems—systems of people, procedure, and political interference in day-to-day and moment-to-moment actions at nuclear plants.

Nuclear reactors always have safety systems subdivided into other safety systems. There are also systems that can work off of steam pressure in the reactor/steam generators, even if the most powerful power sources are lost. Those systems mut be operated through various sources of power such as batteries, diesel generators, backup generators, and the external power line.


Table representing the decay heat of a 410 MWe (1350 MWth) reactor (approximately)


Both of them are made of elements able to absorb neutrons: Boron and cadmium in the first system and solely boron in the second one. Both of them are designed to terminate the reaction within a couple of seconds. To sum up, we should rethink and educate the public on exactly how dangerous nuclear power plants are because these plants are highly prepared even for the most extreme crisis.

Nuclear Plants in Africa

This list includes research reactors and those shutdown.

Algeria: 2

The Democratic Republic of the Congo: 2

Egypt: 2

Libya: 1

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