Use of Nuclear techniques in Morocco

In Morocco, ionizing radiation sources are used mainly in the following areas:

  • Health, through radiology, nuclear medicine and radiotherapy;
  • Industry, through the gamma radiography, gauges and tracers,
  • Education and research,
  • Agriculture, particularly through the irradiator of the National Institute for Agricultural Research in Tangier,
  • Energy, the national energy strategy that, in terms of diversification, consider the alternative options including nuclear power beyond 2030.

Morocco's first nuclear facility was established around the nuclear research reactor and associated laboratories which are operated by the National Centre of Energy, Sciences and Nuclear Techniques and based at the Nuclear Research Centre of Maâmora.

The safety and security of radioactive materials including nuclear materials, has become a major concern in all countries. The international references invite all countries to take, in accordance with their legal and regulatory framework, appropriate measures to ensure the effective independence between regulatory and use and promotion functions.

To this end, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has established various legal instruments and standards to be adopted by its Member States.

Under these legal provisions and standards, some basic principles need to be summarized:

  • Establishing a legislative and regulatory framework, regulating all activities and facilities using ionizing radiation sources taking into account all aspects related to nuclear safety, radiation safety, management of radioactive waste, transportation of nuclear and radioactive materials, safety and physical protection of such material as well as 'safeguards and non-proliferation;
  • The clear separation between the functions of promotion and use of ionizing radiation sources and the functions of control and authorization of these sources;

The establishment, therefore, of a Regulatory Body with adequate human, material and financial resources required to integrate the regulatory functions currently assigned to the Ministries in charge of Energy and Health.

Furthermore, The Ministry of Energy, Mines, Water and Environment (MEMWE) created in January 2009 a committee (CRED) to develop a strategy for the possible introduction of nuclear power in Morocco. CRED’s objectives include an analysis of the legal, institutional, organizational, human and technical infrastructure required for the introduction of nuclear power in the long term.

The CRED completed a report in 2010 to assess Morocco’s national nuclear infrastructure. The MEMWE, requested in March 2013 the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to carry out an Integrated Nuclear Infrastructure Review Mission (INIR) in Morocco. CRED prepared a Self-Evaluation Report (SER) based on IAEA methodology using the 2010 report as an input. The SER was sent to the IAEA in September 2015. The INIR Mission was conducted by the IAEA from 19-26 October 2015.