ABU Converts Research Reactors To Run On Low-enriched Uranium Fuel
The first nuclear research reactor in Nigeria, located at the Center For Energy Research And Training, Amadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria has achieved full power operation following its conversion to run on low-enriched uranium (LEU) fuel instead of high-enriched uranium (HEU).
This was disclosed in Abuja at the 9th annual technical meeting on the conversion of Miniature Neutron Source Reactors (MNSRs) from HEU to LEU fuel.
LEADERSHIP recall that the reaction which was built by the Chinese, was commissioned in 2004 during President Olusegun Obasanjo administration at ABU, initially using high-enriched uranium fuel.
The Vice Chancellor of the university, Professor Ibrahim Garba stated that the management of ABU has constituted two project management teams for the conversion activities. According to him, the convert team which works closely with the Argonne Natural Laboratory, USA is responsible for all the activities related to the new LEU core including its transportation from Beijing to Zaria and loading into the reactor.
Garba who was represented by Deputy Vice Chancellor administration, Professor Kabiru Bala said: “To achieve success, the university took lessons learned and the experiences of Ghana into account while developing Nigeria’s procedures for HEU core removal and commissioning the reactor with LEU core.”
On his part, the Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Christopher Ogbonnaya Onu urged the Chinese government to continue to support Nigeria in other technological fields.
Represented by Mrs Deborah Rugbera, the Minister urged the Chinese to train Nigerian reactor operators and technicians in their country by next year and to also support Nigeria to upgrade reactor Control systems.
Professor Sunday Jonah, Center For Energy Research And Training, ABU told LEADERSHIP that efforts to install low enriched uranium fuel started in 2006 and it was achieved on the 27th of November, 2018.