Morocco Inaugurates First National Centre for Nuclear Science
London, March 29, 2021 (AltAfrica)-The Moroccan Minister of Energy, Mines, and the Environment, Aziz Rabbah, inaugurated Morocco’s first national Training Centre in Nuclear Science and Technology.
The new centre, an extension of the National Centre for Nuclear Energy, Sciences and Techniques (CNESTEN) in Maamora, near Rabat aims to equip Morocco’s nuclear scientists with the necessary skills to be qualified to safely and sustainably use nuclear techniques.
It also seeks to strengthen regional capacities in Africa in the field of nuclear sciences and related technologies, within the framework of international and regional cooperation programs.
CNESTEN serves as a collaborative centre to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). It specializes in the use of nuclear techniques in the management of water resources, protection of the environment, and industrial applications. CNESTEN is also recognized as a “centre of excellence” by the African Nuclear Threat Initiative, which brings together 40 African countries.
The Moroccan nuclear facility is the first of its kind in Africa to obtain IAEA’s distinction in more than one area.
In a statement to the press, Rebbah stressed that “the opening of the Training Center and the IAEA’s recognition of CNESTEN, are two major achievements.”
He said that the center welcomes international cooperation by offering training to researchers and professionals from several countries in Africa.
“Morocco is making great strides in terms of nuclear applications in peaceful areas,” Rabbah said.
He added that “nuclear applications in Morocco cover broad socioeconomic fields such as industry, health, food, agriculture, water, geology, and mining.”
As Morocco relies on other energy-generating resources such as solar resources, wind turbines, and hydraulics, the minister explained, it does not need nuclear power to generate electricity.
Meanwhile, CNESTEN’s Director-General, Khalid El Mediouri, said that the center is a continental go-to destination for partner countries seeking expertise and training and also to perform analysis of samples.
Presenting the centre’s “strategic vision,” El Mediouri the new facility aims to achieve four goals by 2030. These include the broadening of the uses of nuclear sciences and techniques in sectoral programs, capacity building in the field of nuclear sciences and technologies, strengthening the national nuclear, and radiation safety regime.
As part of its support to academic and professional training, the center provides annual training to around 200 executives and technicians, supports and supervises doctoral training and theses, as well as end-of-study projects in the Masters and engineering cycle.
In terms of support to the African region, CNESTEN has, over the past ten years, deployed more than 300 technical expertise missions and organized training courses for the benefit of more than 1,000 professionals.
It has also hosted more than 600 individual internships and scientific stays, making it Africa’s leading nuclear institution in terms of training and expertise development