- Nuclear Experts Challenges African Countries on Nuclear Power Development
Nuclear technology experts on Friday urged African countries to accelerate development of Nuclear Power Plants(NPP) and other technologies to reduce energy deficit and speed up development of the continent.
The experts made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigerian (NAN) in Tomsk, Russia.
They said it was cheery, African countries were looking in the direction of nuclear power production, giving their various agreements with Russian atomic agency ROSATOM to construct NPP and nuclear research centers.
The experts said the growing acceptability and utilisation of nuclear technologies especially for electricity supply would ultimately help decrease electricity shortage in the continent.
According to them the utilisation of nuclear technology in electricity sector, health, aviation, and other sectors would further help accelerate development of the continent.
NAN recalls that Nigeria started developing its peaceful nuclear programme a decade ago and Russian atomic agency ROSATOM has been working with Nigeria for roughly half of this time.
A great deal has already been done in terms of the legal framework and educating specialists, both of which are part of the nuclear infrastructure development programme.
The two countries started their partnership in nuclear power development in 2009, by executing an intergovernmental agreement on cooperation in the field of the peaceful usage of nuclear technologies.
On Oct. 30, 2017, Russia and Nigeria again signed project development agreements on construction and operation of a Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) and a Research Centre housing a multi-purpose nuclear research reactor on the territory of Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Zambia on the other hand is steadily advancing efforts at actualising its nuclear energy goals .
Zambia had also in 2017, signed an intergovernmental agreement with Russia via ROSATOM on the construction and operation of nuclear power center
Lately, African countries like Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda have been embracing prospects of adopting nuclear power plant.
Recently, Egypt also signed a deal with ROSATOM for the construction of its maiden NPP with plans to inaugurate the first unit of the NPP in 2026.
South-Africa remained the only country in Africa with an operational NPP that produces the cheapest power in the country.
To this end, Head, Laboratory for Radioactive Substances and Technology,Tomsk Polytechnic University, Prof Vladimir Golovkov said:
“ I think that, now atomic energy is one of the main possibility of overcoming the distance in the absence of adequate electricity, with minimal effort.
“There is a possibility to create, not only grid atomic power plant but a small power plant to create energy that will be distributed all over Africa.
“And so the look of Africa in the direction of atomic energy is very promising.“
Golovkov said the use of nuclear energy would provide faster development of African continent, given the importance of electricity to development.
On fear for nuclear energy waste, Golovkov said :“You know that each technology not only has its advantages, it also has its disadvantages. For example, some renewable technology leads to environment pollution and pollution of water etc.
“But atomic energy is free of danger of pollution, it is absolutely clean and clear from the point of view of environment pollution.
“Russia now has had great experience in exploiting of atomic power stations and using of atomic energy is not so dangerous, not so dangerous from the point of pollution, from the point of affecting people.
“So I think that usually atomic energy has great potential and the fear of using atomic energy is mainly in our minds than the reality. “
Dr Vera Verkhoturova, Director of masters’ programme, nuclear power engineering, and installations, Tomsk Polytechnic University said the number of students from Africa undertaking courses in nuclear technology engineering was on the increase yearly.
She said the students were choosing research courses in nuclear technology, ranging from nuclear safety security , non proliferation and research in reactor.
This, Verkhoturova said indicated that the demand for development of nuclear industry in Africa was very high, adding that the education of Africans on nuclear technology was increasing at a fast paste.
“Judging by high rate of students developing competence here in nuclear education, I can say that Africa is moving on faster and faster to this target of developing nuclear infrastructures in these countries.“
She said given the expensive nature of training nuclear engineers, the university was collaborating with industrial agencies like ROSATOM to help support development of its international nuclear engineering programmes.
“ROSATOM helps us to organise internships for international students, they help us provide the international students with scholarships which means that African students can start the programmes for free if they are qualified.
“Because nuclear education is very expensive in the world, together with ROSATOM we are also organising different short term programmes for already working staff of nuclear regulatory bodies of countries partnering with ROSATOM.
Verkhoturova, said about 20 African students had been registered at all levels of nuclear education in the university, adding that more students would enroll in the university’s nuclear engineering programme in the coming year.
University Of Ibadan (UI) Goes Digital, Releases Timetable for Virtual Academic Session
University of Ibadan (UI) on Friday announced it is going ahead with resumption on February 20 despite the second wave of COVID-19.
In a statement released by the school, the First Semester of the 2020/2021 academic session will commence virtually on February 20, 2021.
The virtual academic session will last for 13 straight weeks and end on Friday May 12, 2021, while the matriculation ceremony will hold on Tuesday March 16, 2021.
The University of Ibadan also scheduled one week for the Finalization of Continuous Assessment, to begin from Mon. 17 May and ends Friday 21 May.
The rising number of COVID-19 cases has compelled the Senate to approve the virtual academic session in an effort to ensure the tertiary institution abides by the protocols established by the Federal Government to curb the spread of the pandemic.
“It, therefore, agreed that the 2020/2021 First Semester lectures will be delivered online. In this regard, students will not be accommodated on campus,” a statement from the school said.
“Senate also approved the cancellation of the 2019/2020 session. The next session is, therefore, renamed 2020/2021 Academic Session. Consequently, students who have been admitted for the 2019/2020 session will now be regarded as the 2020/2021 intakes.
“Kindly note that online opening of Registration Portal and Orientation Programme for the 2020/2021 intakes may commence ahead of the Sat 20/02/21 date indicated above,” the statement said.
House of Representatives Impeached Trump Over Capitol Invasion
The United States House of Representatives on Wednesday impeached President Trump for the second time after instigating the US Capitol invasion.
Led by Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, 232 representatives, including 10 Republicans, voted to impeach the outgoing president against 197 that voted for him to remain in the office for the next six days when he would handover to the president-elect, Joe Biden.
The ten Republicans were Representatives Liz Cheney of Wyoming, the party’s No. 3 leader in the House; Jaime Herrera Beutler of Washington; John Katko of New York; Adam Kinzinger of Illinois; Fred Upton of Michigan; Dan Newhouse of Washington; Peter Meijer of Michigan; Anthony Gonzalez of Ohio; David Valadao of California; and Tom Rice of South Carolina.
Speaking before the vote, Pelosi said “a constitutional remedy that will ensure that the Republic will be safe from this man who is so resolutely determined to tear down the things that we hold dear and that hold us together.”
“He must go. He is a clear and present danger to the nation that we all love,” she said, adding later, “It gives me no pleasure to say this — it breaks my heart.”
Republicans, who unanimously stood behind president Trump in 2019 during his first impeachment, were divided this time over the attack on Capitol.
A Republican representative from California, Kevin McCarthy, said “The president bears responsibility for Wednesday’s attack on Congress by mob rioters,” Mr. McCarthy said. “He should have immediately denounced the mob when he saw what was unfolding.”
US Congress Declares Joe Biden as The 46th President of The United States After Trump Mob Left
The joint congress of the United States on Thursday, January 7, 2021 certified Joe Biden as the 46th President of the United States following President Trump’s mob action that disrupted the congress joint proceeding on Wednesday.
After ordering his followers to disrupt proceedings on Wednesday, President Trump later announced that there will be an orderly transition on January 20.
“Even though I totally disagree with the outcome of the election, and the facts bear me out, nevertheless there will be an orderly transition on January 20th,” Trump said in a statement issued by White House Deputy Chief of Staff Dan Scavino.
“I have always said we would continue our fight to ensure that only legal votes were counted. While this represents the end of the greatest first term in presidential history, it’s only the beginning of our fight to Make America Great Again!” Trump added.
While the certification was just a mere formality as Biden had secured enough electoral college votes (270) required to clinch the world’s most powerful seat, the refusal of Donald Trump to accept the results of the November 2020 election made the session a keenly watched, especially after Trump mob disrupted a joint session of the Senate.
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