An International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) team of experts has concluded an eight-day mission to review infrastructure development for a nuclear power programme in Morocco. The Integrated Nuclear Infrastructure Review (INIR) was carried out at the invitation of the Kingdom of Morocco.
The INIR team, in its final meeting with the Government on 26 October, said that Morocco has developed a considerable base of knowledge and experience in nuclear activities in its preparations to make an informed decision about introducing nuclear power. The INIR team also made recommendations and suggestions aimed at assisting Morocco in making further progress in its nuclear infrastructure development.
Highly dependent on imported energy sources, Morocco is considering nuclear power as a long-term option beyond 2030. The North African country sees conventional and renewable energy sources meeting its needs over the next 15 years, when electricity demand is expected to grow threefold.
"Morocco has a good understanding of all the infrastructure issues described in the IAEA guide Milestones in the Development of a National Infrastructure for Nuclear Power," said mission team leader Jose Bastos of the IAEA's Nuclear Infrastructure Development Section.
The 11-person INIR team-comprising experts from Romania, Spain and the United Kingdom as well as IAEA staff-identified strengths in a number of areas, including:
. The development of a comprehensive nuclear law that establishes an independent regulatory body.
. The early establishment of training courses and facilities to support human resource development for the nuclear power programme.
The mission, which began on 19 October, also highlighted areas where further action is recommended, including:
. Developing a master plan with a timeline indicating the major activities to be conducted and identifying the organizations responsible for their implementation.
. Establishing a stakeholder involvement strategy and implementation plan for the nuclear power programme.
Khalid El Mediouri, chairman of the committee exploring the nuclear power option for Morocco, welcomed the INIR mission's findings. They "will contribute to developing a clear vision of the requirements so that Morocco can take, at the appropriate time, a knowledgeable decision on introducing a nuclear power programme, in line with international standards," said El Mediouri, who is also director general of CNESTEN, the operator of Morocco's research reactor.
About INIR Missions:
Integrated Nuclear Infrastructure Review missions enable IAEA Member State representatives to have in-depth discussions with international experts about experiences and best practices in different countries. In developing its recommendations, the INIR team takes into account the comments made by the relevant national organizations. Implementation of any of the team's recommendations is at the discretion of the Member State requesting the mission. The results of the INIR mission are expected to help the Member State to develop an action plan to fill any gaps, which in turn will help the development of the national nuclear infrastructure.