Ghana Hosts Nigerian Nuclear Engineers on Reactor Core Conversion

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC) organized a program that hosted a ten member team from Nigeria at the International Miniature Neutron Source Reactor (MNSR) Training Facility (IMTF) in Accra, Ghana.

The Centre Manager of the Nuclear Reactors Research Centre (NRRC) under the National Nuclear Research Institute (NNRI), GAEC, Dr. Henry Cecil Odoi said the objective of the program was to train member states who operate MNSRs outside China to convert their Research Reactor fuels from Highly Enriched Uranium (HEU) to Low Enriched Uranium (LEU).

According to him, efforts were initiated in 2006 to convert the Chinese-designed MNSR in Ghana from HEU to LEU fuel.  ‘The Ghana Research Reactor -1 is the first of five such MNSR reactors outside of China to have been converted and the HEU core returned to China”.

He added that through a collaborative work between Ghana, USA, China and the IAEA, the HEU core was removed from the reactor in August 2016 and a new LEU core installed.

‘The Nigerian’s MNSR is the next to undergo conversion of the core and Ghana is hosting them for series of training sessions to help equip them with the requisite skills to carry out the activity’, he explained.

The head of the Nigerian team, Dr. Hamisu Abukari Admamu in an interview said, their research reactor which was commissioned in February, 2004 will be converted from HEU to LEU.  According to him the training sessions will help them prepare for the conversion process.

He commended the efforts of the supervisors and facilitators for giving out their best to his team.

A specialist at the International Relations Department of the SOSNY R&D Company, Russia, Ms. Irina Shatalina, who together with her team offered technical training to the Nigerian personnel expressed satisfaction at the rate of progress made by the Nigerians so far.

She intimated that she was confident the Nigerians would be able to convert the core within the stipulated period at the end of all the training sessions without assistance. She also expressed gratitude to GAEC for the immense support given her and her team during the training sessions.

By: Thykingdom Kudesey / Office of Corporate and Public Affairs (OCPA) –  GAEC