Nuclear Safety: Morocco Poised to Lead African Nuclear Cooperation

AMSSNuR’s managing director, Khammar Mrabit. Photo: IAEA Imagebank

Rabat – Morocco’s Agency for Nuclear and Radiological Safety and Security (AMSSNuR) said on Monday that it aims to promote African cooperation in the field of nuclear safety.

In a press release, AMSSNuR announced that it is contributing to the 64th General Conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna from September 21-25.

The agency’s contributions fall under King Mohammed VI’s vision of a proactive and multidimensional approach to regional and international cooperation, the statement said. 

Through its participation, AMSSNuR intends to promote African cooperation in the fields of nuclear and radiological safety and security. 

The agency also aspires to share its experiences and good practices, evidenced in its hosting of the Forum of Nuclear Regulatory Bodies in Africa (FNRBA) last month.

AMSSNuR’s managing director, Khammar Mrabit, chaired the forum.

In June, Mrabit joined the IAEA’s Commission of Safety Standards (CSS). His appointment to the commission as one of only 25 members from 170 eligible countries emphasized Morocco’s expertise in nuclear safety in Africa and around the world.

Morocco’s nuclear expertise

Despite not having its own nuclear capabilities, Morocco enjoys international recognition as a leader in nuclear security. The country’s election as president of the 64th IAEA General Conference adds to this momentum. 

AMSSNuR, an independent nuclear and radiological monitoring body, has been leading Morocco’s charge towards nuclear safety. 

In October 2019, the agency hosted the third International Regulator’s Conference on Nuclear Security in Marrakech in coordination with the IAEA. 

Morocco, as a net energy importer, aspires to develop nuclear technology in the future to meet its energy needs. In 2007, Morocco developed its first nuclear facility, MA-RI, for research in nuclear energy, neutron activation analysis, geochronology research, education, and training.

The IAEA gave Morocco clearance in 2016 to begin a nuclear power project by 2030. 

“Morocco has the experience and skills that would enable it to launch its nuclear power program” and had an early awareness of needs for “human resources and training capacities in the nuclear field,” the IAEA determined in its 2016 assessment.

Morocco is also the Implementation and Assessment Group Coordinator (IAG) of the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism (GICNT). Having held the role since June 2019, Morocco implements the GICNT’s priorities and ensures the initiative’s activities complement international efforts against nuclear terrorism. 

Morocco is the first country in the Middle East and North Africa to assume such responsibilities. The appointment recognizes Morocco’s efforts in fighting terrorism at the national and global levels.

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