MOROCCO – Morocco will in early October this year host the third International Nuclear Security Conference in Marrakech.

 The conference will be hosted by the Moroccan Agency for Nuclear and Radiological Safety and Security (AMSSNuR), in cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

The International Nuclear Security Conference was fist organized in 2012 and was hosted by the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC)   while the second was conducted in 2016 and was hosted by the Spanish Nuclear Safety Council (CSN).

The conference “was born from the need to organize an international event on nuclear and radiological security for and by Regulators, with a view of increasing the awareness of the importance of a comprehensive national regulatory security program.”

According to the third conference’s organizers, the AMSSNuR is planning the event “given the relevance of the nuclear and radiological security globally and especially for the African continent.”

The conference’s prospectus indicates that “a broad range of experts and decision-makers in the area of nuclear security” will attend the event.

Although Morocco does not have nuclear weapons or power, the conference goes in line with Morocco’s plans for future nuclear energy use.

Currently, South Africa is the only African country with a nuclear power station.

 Morocco’s aspirations to develop nuclear facilities for better energy consumption can be traced back to twelve years ago, when the country developed its first nuclear facility.

The research reactor (RR) MA-R1 which is located at Centre d’Etudes Nucleaires de la Maamora (CENM), approximately 25 kilometres north of Rabat has not been connected its to the electrical grid.

Morocco is a net energy importer and needs alternative energy sources to meet its burgeoning energy demands.

According to Reuters, Moroccan officials intend to use the uranium extracted from the country’s huge phosphate deposits as “feedstock for the planned nuclear power plants.”

The Moroccan government has already announced that it has plans for two 1000 MW nuclear reactors which it hopes will start operation after 2020.