Although the country does not need nuclear energy in the electricity sector, it is increasingly using it in other sectors such as industry and healthcare

Morocco inaugurates a nuclear technology training centre

PHOTO/AFP - Moroccan Minister of Energy and Sustainable Development, Aziz Rabbah

Morocco on Tuesday launched the Nuclear Science and Technology Training Centre, designed to promote the peaceful and sustainable use of nuclear energy. The launch took place during a ceremony presided over by the Minister of Energy, Mines and Environment, Aziz Rabbah, at the National Centre for Nuclear Energy, Science and Technology (CNESTEN), located in the city of Maâmora.

The centre will help increase the qualification of the national human capital through vocational training and the contribution to academic training. This will seek to ensure the acquisition of the necessary skills to operate. Another of its objectives is to strengthen the field of nuclear sciences and technologies in Africa, within the framework of international and regional cooperation programmes.

The CNESTEN, which is responsible for the project, is the first organisation in Africa to be recognised by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

The Minister of Energy stressed in a press release that the opening of the Training Centre together with the recognition of the IAEA as a collaborating centre are two great achievements for the country. He also welcomed the researchers and professionals from various countries in the region who will be incorporated into the work of the Centre.

"Morocco is making great strides in terms of nuclear applications in peaceful areas," he said, noting that the use of nuclear energy in the country applies to a wide range of sectors such as industry, health, agri-food, water and mining.

"In terms of electricity, Morocco does not need nuclear energy, as we have another huge potential," he added, referring to the significant development of solar energy in recent years, as well as the use of other renewable energies such as wind and hydro turbines.

For his part, the director of CNESTEN, Khalid El Mediouri, said that the Centre is "recognised as a centre of excellence in several areas by the IAEA and the African Nuclear Cooperation Agreement". During the ceremony, he emphasised the management of water resources and environmental protection, offered his expertise to partner countries and welcomed professionals, students and researchers.

Taking advantage of the event, he presented the Centre's strategic vision for 2030, which is structured along four main axes. Firstly, the expansion of the uses of nuclear sciences and techniques in sectoral programmes. Secondly, improving the qualification of human capital in this field of knowledge. Thirdly, strengthening the operational nuclear and radiological safety regime in the region. And finally, consolidating CNESTEN at the regional level and making it a key element in the service of Moroccan influence in Africa.

CNESTEN currently provides professional training to 200 executives and technicians. As part of its support for academic training, the Centre supports doctoral training and a dozen specialised master's degrees. Each year, it supervises approximately one hundred theses and master's degree projects.

In terms of African cooperation, over the last ten years, CNESTEN has deployed more than 300 technical training missions through courses that have benefited more than 1,000 professionals and hosted more than 600 scientific stays, making the Centre a leading institution.

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