The Nigerian Nuclear Regulatory Authority (NNRA) has granted licence to two research fellows from the Ahmadu Bello University’s Centre for Energy Research and Training (CERT), Zaria, Kaduna State.
The researchers, Engr. Safiya Aliyu and Ms. Nana Fatima Abdulmalik, were granted ‘Temporary Reactor Operator Licences’ as Operator Class ‘C’ of a Miniature Neutron Source Research Reactor, (NIRR – 1).
The NNRA is a federal government agency responsible for regulatory oversight of all nuclear and other ionizing radiation applications in the country.
A statement signed and made available to Daily Trust by the ABU’s Director of Public Affairs Directorate, Awwal Umar, said the research fellows are the first female nuclear researchers in the country to have qualified for the licences.
“The licences were issued under the hand and seal of the Director General and Chief Executive Officer of Nigerian Nuclear Regulatory Authority, Dr Ya’u Usman Idris, on 25th July, 2022.
“Operator Class ‘C’ of a Miniature Neutron Source Research Reactor (NIRR – 1) has as specifications, a tank-in-pool type research reactor of minimal power 34KW and design specifications,” the statement read.
According to the terms and conditions of the licence, the licencee being a trainee reactor operator is authorized to assist a Class ‘A’ licencee in the operation of the Nigerian Research Reactor -1 (NIRR – 1), and the licencee is not authorized to operate NIRR -1.
The licence will expire on 31st December, 2022, and is subject to renewal three months prior to expiration, pursuant to Section 23 (2) of the Nuclear Safety and Radiation Protection Act.
In his reaction, the Director, Centre for Energy Research and Training, Prof S.A Jonah, said the feat attained by the two female staff members of the centre was “worth celebrating”, describing it as “a landmark in the development of nuclear science and technology in the Ahmadu Bello University in particular, and the country as a whole.
Born in Zaria, Kaduna State, on 28th September, 1982, Engr. Safiya Aliyu is currently pursuing a PhD in Control Engineering at ABU. She is also a research fellow II and trainee reactor operator at the centre.
Ms. Nana Fatima Abdulmalik was born in Bauchi, Bauchi State. She is also a research fellow II at the centre, pursuing a doctorate in Structural Geology at ABU.