Wednesday, February 8, 2023

ABU partners International Atomic Energy Agency on internet reactor laboratory project

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Ibrahim Ramalan
Ibrahim Ramalan
Ibrahim Ramalan is a graduate of Mass Communications from the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria. With nearly a decade-long, active journalism practice, Mr Ramalan has been able to rise from a cub reporter to the exalted position of an editor; first as Arts Editor with the Blueprint Newspapers before resigning in 2019; second and presently as an Associate Editor of the Daily Nigerian online newspaper. He can be reached via [email protected], or www.facebook.com/ibrahim.ramalana, or @McRamalan on Twitter.
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Ahmadu Bello University’s Centre for Energy Research and Training, CERT, has signed an agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency, IAEA, on participation in the Internet Reactor Laboratory, IRL, project on the use of research reactor for nuclear courses at the university.

IAEA’s Internet Reactor Laboratory Project is a cost-effective way to educate groups of students in reactor physics and will assist Nigeria in the development of the human resources needed for nuclear science and technology programs.

According to a statement by the university’s Public Affairs Directorate, the agreement was signed on Monday at the ongoing 66th Annual Regular Session of the IAEA General Conference in Vienna, Austria.

The ABU Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Kabiru Bala, signed the agreement on behalf of the Centre and Nigeria, while Deputy Director-General, Nuclear Energy, IAEA, Mikhail Chudakov, stood in for the IAEA.

The statement noted that the project, facilitated by the Nigeria Atomic Energy Commission, NAEC, will enable the research and teaching staff of the university as well as cooperating universities to build their capacities in the field of nuclear reactor physics and engineering.

“IAEA’s internet reactor laboratory (IRL) enables live immersion into reactor technology and operation to countries that otherwise have no installed facilities, but have groups of students ready to undertake experimental reactor physics courses.

“It works by giving access to reactor experiments in a remote location via an internet link. Using hardware and software installed in a research reactor in the host state, signals are sent over the internet to the guest institution, where a real-time display of the reactor’s control room is visible to students.

“Then, using video conference equipment, students at the guest institution can interact with operators in the reactor control room to conduct experiments.

“Under the agreement, ABU’s Centre for Energy Research and Training shall participate as a guest institution in the project in order to develop and strengthen nuclear education capacities in Nigeria and the African sub-region.

“This is on the strength that IAEA appreciates the long-standing and proven reputation of CERT in the field of theoretical and experimental physics.

“IAEA is to provide the necessary equipment for CERT in accordance with the technical equipment specifications, as well as provide advice and assistance to CERT on the structure and scheduling of laboratory experiments, and any other matters regarding the implementation of the project, where requested by CERT,” the statement noted.

“On its part, CERT is to, among others, install and maintain, at its own cost, the video conference equipment provided by the IAEA, as well as any other hardware or software which may be necessary for the implementation of the project.

“The Centre is to also ensure that the laboratory room at CERT has adequate internet connectivity to allow for the receipt of internet data packages and video calls between the Centre and the host reactor,” the statement added.

The Director-General, Nigerian Nuclear Regulatory Authority, NNRA, Dr. Idris Yau; Chairman, Nigeria Atomic Energy Commission, NAEC, Prof. Yusuf Ahmed; Nigeria’s Ambassador to Austria, Suleiman Umar; and Director, Centre for Energy Research and Training, CERT, Ahmadu Bello University, Prof. S.A. Jonah, witnessed the agreement signing.

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