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The Federal government has launched the first Nigerian Nuclear Research Reactor (NIRR-1), located at the centre for Energy Research and Training (CERT) of the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria.
Kaduna, Oct 02, 2004 (This Day/All Africa Global Media via COMTEX) -- The Federal government has launched the first Nigerian Nuclear Research Reactor (NIRR-1), located at the centre for Energy Research and Training (CERT) of the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria.
In a message he sent to the ceremony, President Olusegun Obasanjo said the launch was an attestation to the manifestations of Nigeria's desire to pursue development in science and technology at the highest level.
"This will be with the ultimate objective of uplifting the well-being of our people", Obasanjo said.
Minister of Science and Technology, Professor Turner Isoun, representing the president. Stating that spart from electricity generation, the nuclear reactor is expected to have applications in agriculture, medicine, industry as and in other science related fields.
According to Obasanjo, "the 30kw Miniature Neutron Source Reactor (MNSR) though basically a small neutron, will serve as a practical tool for training of nuclear scientists and engineers. It will also be quite useful in the training of research applications, though limited in scope.
The establishment of the Nigerian Nuclear Regulatory Authority (NNRA) in February 2001, in accordance with the Nuclear Safety and Radiation Protection Act 19 of 1995, has provided a veritable regulatory framework and safeguards operations of the nuclear industry in the country.
As we are aware, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna played a pivotal role in ensuring the completion of this project.
The NNRA, within its short period of existence, has earned the respect of the IAEA, particularly in the commissioning activities leading to the granting of operational licence to CERT-ABU, Zaria."
Also speaking at the ceremony, the director-general of the Nigerian Nuclear Regulatory Authority, professor Shamsudeen Elegbu, explained that the MNSR is capable of producing Neutron Activation Analysis (NAA) which is applicable to soil fertility and geo-chemical mapping, mineral analysis, environmental studies, forensic and crime investigation, industrial and quality control, pharmacology and medicine.
by Agaju Madugba
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