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Niger has strong commitment to develop nuclear power

Staff Writer | April 30, 2018
The government of Niger has a strong commitment to developing the infrastructure for a nuclear power programme, an International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) mission has concluded.
Niger power
Africa   A lack of consistent electricity supply
Niger, whose economic development is hampered by a lack of consistent electricity supply, is considering a potential role for nuclear power in its energy mix, the IAEA said.

A country of about 21 million people in Western Africa, Niger is currently ranked as the world's fourth largest producer of uranium ore.

The Integrated Nuclear Infrastructure Review (INIR) team noted that the government has established a Strategic Orientation Committee and a National Technical Committee for its nuclear power programme, chaired, respectively, by the prime minister and the president of the Nigerien High Authority for Atomic Energy (HANEA).

Those two committees form the Nuclear Energy Programme Implementing Organization (NEPIO).

Niger has already completed or initiated several studies related to nuclear infrastructure development, and prepared a comprehensive report summarising the results, the IAEA said.

Zeinabou Mindaoudou Souley, president of HANEA, said Niger is committed to the careful step-by-step development of its nuclear power programme.

"This INIR mission was a really enriching experience that will help us to move forward," Mindaoudou Souley said. "The recommendations and suggestions from the INIR mission will be thoroughly reviewed and addressed to strengthen the rationale for Niger moving forward with the development of nuclear power."

The team comprised international experts from France, Morocco, Spain and the UK, as well as IAEA staff. It reviewed the status of 19 nuclear power programme infrastructure issues using the IAEA Nuclear Energy Series Evaluation of the Status of National Infrastructure Development.

Prior to the INIR mission, which was supported by the Division for Africa in the IAEA's Technical Cooperation Department, Niger prepared a self-evaluation report covering all infrastructure issues and submitted this and supporting documents to the IAEA.