By Raphael Ede
Council on National Policies of the Global Prolife Alliance (GPA) has called on governments of West Africa to declare a nuclear free zone across the region in a Resolution 244.
The GPA council also adopted a Resolution 245 on nuclear terrorism prevention strategy, to request that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) place a moratorium on new construction of nuclear powe rplants in all member states with existing high-level or potential threats of terrorism to nuclear facility sites.
The group made this call in a statement issued at the end of its council expert consultations yesterday, signed by the chairman, Council on National Policies of GPA, Prof Philip Njemanze.
It stated that the proposal in some countries like Nigeria to build nuclear power plants could complicate the current complex security situation across the West African region.
“A situation could be envisaged where terrorist organisations like Boko Haram and ISIL could capture the nuclear plants and use it as aweapon of mass destruction by blowing up its core reactors.
“One could imagine if Syria or Iraq had functional nuclear power plants before the ISIL invasion! Could ISIL not have held it in ransom, and asked the coalition to withdraw or they blow it up? The entire Middle East region could be in grave nuclear jeopardy. Can Nigeria protect adequately any nuclear facility from terrorist
attacks? Despite considerable technological advances, securing nuclear plants from even operational accidents has been a major challenge in the most advanced countries, including Russia, United States, Japan and European Union.
“Sixty major nuclear accidents have occurred in the most advanced countries since Chernobyl in Russia in 1986. Nigeria has considerable challenges maintaining security within its borders posed by threats from Boko Haram terrorists. An attack on a nuclear facility in Nigeria could jeopardise the entire West African region.
“Nigeria could create a sustainable solar industry for the future for the unemployed youths of Nigeria. There is no rationale to create a potential environmental nuclear hazard for millions of people in the region, which terrorists could exploit to threaten the peace. Even the threat of a launch of an attack could cause evacuation of people living within 150 km radius of the nuclear power station, a space occupied by at least three states in Nigeria,” the statement stressed.
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