(Updated 2018)


This report provides information on the status and development of nuclear power programmes in Morocco, including factors related to the effective planning, decision making and implementation of the nuclear power programme that together lead to safe and economical operations of nuclear power plants.

The CNPP summarizes organizational and industrial aspects of nuclear power programmes and provides information about the relevant legislative, regulatory and international framework in Morocco.

Morocco has no nuclear power reactors in operation but is planning construction of a nuclear power programme beyond 2030.



1.1.1. Energy policy

Morocco has limited local energy resources and depends almost totally on external sources for its energy supply.

Fossil Fuels

Local production of coal (anthracite) was provided by the Jerada mine until its closure in 2000. Current needs for coal are met by imports.

Morocco has large deposits of oil shale, especially in the south. However, feasibility studies conducted so far for the recovery of this national resource to produce electricity and pyrolysis have shown that its use is not yet competitive using the present technologies. On the other hand, Morocco produces very small volumes of oil and natural gas from the Essaouira Basin and small amounts of natural gas from the Gharb Basin.

The country is crossed by the Maghreb–Europe pipeline (with a capacity of about 10 bm3/year), transporting Algerian gas to Europe through the Strait of Gibraltar. The gas royalties received by Morocco are used, partially, to feed the Tahaddart and Ain Beni Mathar combined cycle gas turbine plants (CCGTs).

Nuclear Fuel

Morocco has large amounts of uranium in its phosphates. This resource could prove useful in the future if economically competitive processes are developed for its extraction. According to the IAEA’s recent studies, the estimated availability of uranium in the Moroccan phosphates accounts for about 6.9 million tonnes.

Renewable Resources

Morocco continues to enhance its hydraulic potential for electric generation by increasing the capacity of this source.

Furthermore, Morocco has huge renewable energy potential. Two major renewable energy programmes were launched in recent years:

Solar energy programme: Launched in November 2009, it consists of the implementation of many solar power plants across Morocco, totaling an installed electric capacity of 2000 MW by 2020. The Noor 1 project of 160 MW(e) installed capacity in Ouarzazate is the first solar farm implemented; it was connected to the grid in February 2016 by the Moroccan Agency for Sustainable Energy (MASEN).

  • Wind energy programme: In June 2010, Morocco also announced an ambitious wind energy programme. The goal of this programme is to install electric capacity of 2000 MW by 2020.

1.1.2. Estimated available energy


  Fossil fuels Nuclear Renewables (**) Other renewables (**)
  Solid Liquid Gas Uranium Hydro Wind Solar
Total amount in specific units* 6.9 million 0.0038 0.025 0.020
Total amount in exajoules [EJ]

* Solid, liquid: million tonnes; gas: billion m3; uranium: metric tonnes; hydro, henewable: TW.

—: Data not available.

** Source: Fifth General Conference on Arab Union of Electricity, 27–28 January 2016, Marrakech, Morocco.

1.1.3. Energy statistics


Year Average annual growth rate (%)
ENERGY CONSUMPTION** 1990 2000 2005 2011 2012* 2013* 2014* 2015* 2005–2015
TOTAL 6500 9785 12197 17 310 17 834 18 371 18 710 19 267  +4,7
- Solids (ktoe) *** 1 096 2 684 3 716 3 929 3 997 3 989 4 904 5 329  
- Liquids (ktoe) 5 030 6 235 7 582 10 681 10 791 10 751 10 202 10 361  
- Gases (ktoe) 57 50 386 801 1 174 1 150 1 115 1 138  
- Nuclear (ktoe) 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0  
- Hydro (ktoe) 317 185 251 521 424 724 426 490  
- Wind (ktoe) 0 17 50 180 189 353 500 655
- Solar (ktoe) 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 482
ENERGY PRODUCTION 1990 2000 2005 2011 2012* 2013* 2014* 2015* 2005–2015
TOTAL 676 282 346 767 696 1 175 1 022 1 239 +13.6
- Solids*** 287 17 0 0 0 0 0 0  
- Liquids and gas (ktoe) 15 13 7 10 8 6 5 5
- Gases (ktoe) 57 50 38 56 75 92 91 88
- Nuclear 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0  
- Hydro (ktoe) 317 185 251 521 424 724 426 490  
- Wind (ktoe) 0 17 50 180 189 353 500 655  
- Solar (ktoe) 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 482
Net import (Import-Export) 0 614 212 1 198 1 259 1 404 1 563 1 293

* Source: Ministry of Energy and Mines; latest available data (2015).

** Energy consumption = Primary energy consumption + Net import (Import-Export) of secondary energy.

*** Solid fuels include coal, lignite and petroleum coke.

1.1.4. Energy policy


1.2.1. Electricity system and decision making process

The national policy for the electricity system is drawn up by the National Electricity Utility Office (National de l’Electricité et de l’Eau Potable — Branche Electricité (ONEE-BE)) and submitted for approval to the Ministry of Energy. The implementation of the policy is carried out by ONEE-BE. This policy is based on the following set of strategic orientations:

Mobilization of national energy resources. In this regard, exploitation of the national renewable energy sources (hydraulic, wind and solar potentials) is being constantly increased. An ambitious national renewable energy programme aiming to install 42% of power capacity from solar and wind power projects by 2020 is in progress. In the framework of the same strategy, Morocco decided in 2015 to increase this capacity up to 52% by 2030.

  1. Introduction of the Gas to Power Project consisting of a liquified natural gas (LNG) terminal and several CCGT power plants totaling an installed capacity of 2400 MW; this project is forecast to be implemented between 2021 and 2025.

  2. Energy optimization by energy efficiency and conservation measures.

  3. Continuation of the rural electrification programme (so called PERG programme), the implementation of which had reached a rate of 99.43 % in 349 villages (2016 data).

  4. Consideration of the possibility to introduce nuclear energy in the long term (beyond 2030).

The main projects under construction/development are briefly described hereafter.

(1) Fossil power plants (under construction):

Safi coal power plant consisting of 2 × 693 MW(e) units (independent power producer (IPP) project);

(2) Gas to Power Project (under development):

The main objectives of the Moroccan Gas to Power Project are:

  1. Meet the domestic electricity demand;

  2. Reduce Moroccan energy dependence (LNG will represent 14% of the energy mix by 2025).

The main characteristics of this project are:

  1. LNG capacity: 5 bm3;

  2. 2400 MW of gas combined cycle turbine plants (14% of the installed capacity in 2025);

  3. 12 000 GWh/year;

  4. CO2 emission avoided: 10 million tonnes.

(3) Renewable energy plant projects under development (2018–2021):

The integrated wind power programme — First phase: Taza wind farm project of 150 MW(e) (IPP project);

  1. The integrated wind power programme — Second phase: 5 wind farm projects of 850 MW(e) (IPP project);

  2. The repowering of the Abdelkhalek Torres wind park from 50 MW to 100 MW and an extension of 200 MW;

  3. Three pumped storage power plant projects: Abdelmoumen (350 MW), Ifahsa (300 MW) and El Menzel (300 MW);

  4. The Noor Tafilalt, Noor Atlas and Noor Argana photovoltaic (PV) solar power plants with a total of 570 MW(e) installed capacity (managed by ONEE-BE);

  5. The Noor Ouarzazate, Noor Layoune, Noor Boujdour and Noor Midelt solar power plants (concentrated solar power (CSP) and PV) with a total of 1320 MW(e) installed capacity (managed by MASEN);

  6. Renewable energy projects developed by private companies in the framework of Law No. 13-09 (currently, up to 740 MW(e) of solar PV, 220 MW of wind power and 126 MW(e) of microhydraulic power plants are developed in the framework of this law).

1.2.2. Structure of electric power sector

The main actors in the Moroccan electrical system are:

Electricity generation: ONEE-BE is the public producer. Since the late 1990s, in the framework of IPP projects, some private producers have been participating in national electricity generation by supplying power exclusively to ONEE-BE through power purchase agreements (PPAs). At present, the main private suppliers are Jorf Lasfar Electric Company (JLEC, coal power plant), Energie Electrique de Tahaddart (combined cycle power plant), Tarfaya (wind park) and Compagnie Éolienne du Détroit (wind park).

  1. The Moroccan Agency for Sustainable Energy (MASEN), a limited company, is the new agency in charge of renewable energy project development (wind, solar, and hydro). The aim of this agency is to implement an integrated development programme for renewable electricity generation, in the framework of a partnership with the State of Morocco. It is forecast that 52% of electricity production will be made up of renewable energy sources by 2030 (Dahir n°1-16-132 du 25 aout 2016 portant promulgation de la loi n°37-16 modifiant et complétant la loi 57-09 portant création de la société Moroccan Agency for Solar Energy).

  2. Private companies that produce their own electricity from renewable energy projects under Law No. 13-09.

  3. Electricity transmission: ONEE-BE with a grid comprising HV/VHV/MV lines (60, 150, 225 and 400 kV) with a total length of 25 545 km of HV/VHV lines and with a total length of 85 728 km of MV lines (2016 data).

  4. Electricity distribution: Mainly ONEE-BE and some private operators in the big cities of the country (LYDEC in Casablanca, REDAL in Rabat, AMENDIS in Tanger/Tétouan).

  5. Electrical neighbourhood interconnections: Morocco has electrical interconnections with Spain (total transit capacity: 1400 megavolt amps, MVA) and with Algeria (total transit capacity: 2900 MVA). Feasibility studies are being developed for a third interconnection both with Portugal and Mauritania.

1.2.3. Main indicators

Because of the structural deficit of primary energy resources, Morocco imports oil, coal, gas and electricity (through interconnections with Spain, essentially) to balance its energy demand. Fossil fired power plants (mainly coal and gas) are used as baseload generation plants.


Average annual growth rate (%)
1990 2000 2005 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2005 to 2016
Capacity of electrical plants (GW)
- Thermal 1.353 3.228 3.513 4.396 4.396 4.711 5.061 5.411 5.411 5.412
- Hydro 0.620 1.167 1.730 1.770 1.770 1.770 1.770 1.770 1.770 1.770
- Nuclear 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
- Wind 0.000 0.054 0.054 0.254 0.292 0.292 0.495 0.797 0.797 0.898
- Geothermal 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
- Other renewable (solar) 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.020 0.020 0.020 0.020 0.020 0.181 0.181
-Total 1.973 4.449 5.297 6.440 6.478 6.793 7.346 7.998 8.158 8.262 4.5
Electricity production (TWh)
- Thermal 7.398 10.771 17.540 18.410 21.303 23.773 22.441 23.948 25.003 25.614
- Hydro 1.196 0.711 1.412 3.631 2.053 1.816 2.990 2.033 2.282 1.662
- Nuclear 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
- Wind 0.000 0.062 0.191 0.659 0.692 0.728 1.215 1.774 2.380 2.858
- Geothermal 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
- Other renewable (solar) 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.012 0.039 0.042 0.040 0.091 0.440
- Total1 8.594 11.544 19.143 22.700 24.061 26.356 26.689 27.795 29.755 30.574 4.8
Total electricity consumption (TWh) 8.864 13.942 19.518 26.531 28.752 31.056 32.026 33.530 34.413 35.415 6.1

1 Electricity transmission losses are not deducted.

Source: ONEE-EB, 2017.


1970 1980 1990 2000 2005 2010 2014
Energy consumption per capita (GJ/capita) 11.09 12.48 15.50 18.69 19.19 23.14
Electricity consumption per capita (kWh/capita) 242 360 490 636 781 851
Electricity production/Energy production (%)
Nuclear/Total electricity (%) 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Ratio of external dependency (%) 1

1 Net import/Total energy consumption.

—: Data not available.



2.1.1. Overview and historical development of the Moroccan NPP project

In the framework of the policy of diversification of energy primary sources and in compliance with governmental orientations, ONEE-BE considers the nuclear power option as one potential technically viable solution able to meet the future electrical energy needs of Morocco.

The first feasibility study on introducing an NPP in Morocco was undertaken by ONEE-BE with the assistance of French consultant SOFRATOME, the IAEA and other national and international organizations. An exhaustive site study led to the choice of the Sidi Boulbra site, located on the Atlantic coast between the cities of Safi and Essaouira (300 km south of Casablanca), as the appropriate site for a new NPP, with no characteristics that would prevent the construction and safe operation of a nuclear power plant. This conclusion was validated by IAEA experts after an expert mission conducted in September 1994.

Detailed studies on many NPP project aspects (technical, economic, regulatory, organizational, etc.) have been undertaken and corresponding reports have been elaborated, including technical specifications of the NPP and the preliminary site safety report. At that time, there were many important reasons to postpone the implementation of the NPP project, such as the non-competitiveness of nuclear energy compared with the alternative fossil option (coal), the modest size of the national electric grid and the incompleteness of the required legal and physical infrastructures.

These studies were later updated by the ONEE-BE project team, from 2002 to 2005, in the framework of a technical cooperation project with the IAEA. These studies, which have been reviewed by IAEA experts, have shown the competitiveness and the technical viability of the nuclear option and have led to the choice of three technically proven and commercially available nuclear power reactors, to be implemented in Morocco by 2020. The updated site characteristics still present positive aspects with regard to safety requirements.

In 2006–2007, the encouraging conclusions from the updated feasibility studies and the wish to have more information on the international nuclear power market (information on proposed technologies, average kWh production costs, viability of the industrial scheme proposed by ONEE-BE, etc.) led ONEE-BE to undertake a pre-selection process. This process included inviting the vendors and operators of the NPP technologies selected during the updated feasibility study to submit non-bidding offers related to: (i) engineering, procurement and construction (EPC); (ii) operation and maintenance; and (iii) services related to nuclear fuel for an NPP project based on two nuclear units of 700 to 1000 MW each.

Four international nuclear reactor suppliers showed their interest in this process by submitting non-binding bids. ONEE-BE was supported by an international technical and legal consultant during the bid evaluation and for reviewing and completing the draft of the project contracts it prepared.

ONEE-BE continuously updates the NPP studies, especially those on Gen III reactor technology and safety developments, nuclear kWh cost evaluation and electrical NPP–grid interaction. Some Sidi Boulbra site characteristics are also under review and monitoring, in line with IAEA recommendations.

Since 2015, the assessment of nuclear infrastructures of the NPP project is realized by CRED (Comité de Réflexion sur l’Electronucléaire et le Dessalement d’eau de mer par voie nucléaire) in accordance with the IAEA’s milestones approach (see below).

2.1.2. Current organizational chart(s)

A substantial part of the institutional nuclear infrastructure is already in place in Morocco. This component of nuclear infrastructure consists of the following governmental organizations:

1) Office National de l’Electricité et de l’Eau Potable (ONEE)

The Office National de l’Electricité et de l’Eau Potable (ONEE) is the public utility, composed of electrical and potable water branches. The ONEE-Electricity Branch (ONEE-BE) is in charge of the generation, transmission and distribution of electrical energy in Morocco. ONEE-BE is also responsible for the planning and development of the Moroccan electrical system (power generation plants and grid infrastructure development). In this framework, ONEE-BE is responsible for the NPP feasibility study and Sidi Boulbra site studies as well as the pre-contractual and contractual management activities, and will be the main player in the NPP implementation as the future owner/operator of the nuclear power plant. ONEE-BE is the owner of the Sidi Boulbra NPP site.

2) The Moroccan Nuclear Safety and Regulatory Body (AMSSNuR)

In the framework of the new nuclear law (No. 142-12) on nuclear safety and security adopted by Morocco in 2014, an independent Nuclear Safety and Security Authority, called AMSSNuR (Agence Marocaine de Sûreté et de Sécurité Nucléaires et Radiologiques), was established in 2015 and granted authority and financial support.

3) The National Centre for Nuclear Energy, Sciences and Techniques (CNESTEN)

CNESTEN is the Moroccan nuclear research organization. The nuclear research centre of Maâmora consists of a TRIGA Mark II research reactor, together with laboratories specialized in various nuclear technical fields. Supported by these facilities, CNESTEN makes a major contribution to the development of the nation’s future specialized nuclear techniques and nuclear energy promotion.

4) The Ministry of Energy, Mines and Sustainable Development (MEMSD)

MEMSD is in charge of developing and setting up the governmental policy related to energy, mines and sustainable development sectors. With regard to nuclear energy, MEMSD was the former safety authority before the entry in force of the new nuclear law No. 142-12 and the establishment of the new regulatory body AMSSNuR. Furthermore, MEMSD provides the National Liaison Officer for Technical Cooperation Programme activities developed between the IAEA and national organizations. It also determines the secretariat of CNEN (see below).

5) The National Council of Nuclear Energy (CNEN)

CNEN is a governmental committee established many years ago with the aim of assisting the Government in setting up a national policy on the peaceful use of nuclear energy, in order to contribute to the technical, social and economic development of the country. It is governed by a council supervised by the head of Government, and composed of representatives from different ministries. CNEN includes three subcommittees: the first deals with coordination of nuclear activities, the second is in charge of nuclear regulation and the third deals with international cooperation. This council drafted the regulatory decrees and texts related to the first nuclear law of 1970, which was used for the licensing of the nuclear research centre of Maâmora in 1997, and also participated in the development of the new nuclear law (No. 142-12), which entered into force in 2014.

6) The Moroccan Pre-NEPIO (CRED)

In the framework of the Moroccan strategic energy plan, established in 2009 by the Ministry of Energy, and in accordance with the IAEA recommendations for planning and preparing the infrastructure required for launching a nuclear power programme, MEMSD set up, in January 2009, a pre-NEPIO committee called CRED (Comité de Réflexion sur l’Electronucléaire et le Dessalement d’eau de mer par voie nucléaire).

This committee is composed of representatives from different institutions involved in the nuclear field (including different departments of MEMSD, ONEE (Electricity and Water), CNESTEN, AMSSNuR, OCP, Ministry of Health, NGOs, universities, etc.).

The objective of this committee is to identify the requirements and prerequisites for the introduction and implementation of a nuclear power programme, to examine and evaluate the existing national nuclear infrastructure capacities in accordance with the technical, human, legal and organizational milestones in IAEA Nuclear Energy Series No. NG-G-3.1, Milestones in the Development of a National Infrastructure for Nuclear Power, and to propose the required enhancements for filling gaps and upgrading these infrastructures to the public authorities. This will be done in order to facilitate the implementation of the first NPP in Morocco in a safe and secure manner.


Not applicable.

2.2.1. Status and performance of nuclear power plants

Not applicable.


2.3.1. Nuclear power development strategy

The Moroccan governmental strategy aims to introduce nuclear energy beyond 2030.

To this end, complementary studies are being developed using IAEA and ONEE-BE energy planning models and tools. These studies will look at the potential role of nuclear energy in the national electricity mix in the long term (2030–2050).

The national strategy regarding fuel procurement and radioactive waste management is under study by CRED, as the fuel used will depend on various factors, including the reactor technology, the fuel cycle and the national strategy of waste management.


Station/Project name Type Capacity Expected construction start year Expected commercial year
 Sidi Boulbra nuclear power plant Not yet known
Not yet known
Beyond 2030

2.3.2. Project management

The CRED Committee and the Preparation of National Nuclear Infrastructures — INIR Mission

Currently, CRED is in charge of analysing the legal, regulatory, institutional, organizational, human and technical infrastructure required for the introduction of nuclear power in the long term. CRED prepared a self-evaluation report (SER) based on the IAEA methodology and using the 2010 SER as input. The SER was sent to the IAEA in September 2015. Phase 1 of the INIR Mission was conducted from 19 to 26 October 2015 in Rabat, Morocco.

The INIR team found that Morocco has developed a considerable base of knowledge and experience in nuclear activities in its preparations to make a knowledgeable decision about introducing nuclear power. Several studies were carried out over a number of years.

In order to assist Morocco in making further progress in its infrastructure development, the INIR team made recommendations and suggestions, related to Phase 1 activities of the IAEA’s milestones approach. The INIR team also identified good practices that may benefit other countries considering the introduction of nuclear power.

In September 2016, CRED developed an action plan jointly with the IAEA (called the Integrated Work Plan (IWP)) covering the period 2016–2019, in order to implement these INIR recommendations.

The results of these IWP activities are expected to be presented to the IAEA and the Government, and will constitute important inputs for national decision making concerning the implementation of the nuclear power programme.

Organizations in Charge

The main national organizations in charge of developing the nuclear power programme are as follows:

  1. ONEE-BE, as the future owner/operator of the nuclear power plants for electricity generation, is in charge of:

    • Updating the NPP technical and economic feasibility studies, including reactor technology, nuclear fuel cycle, NPP electrical grid interaction and economic competitiveness studies;

    • Monitoring the Sidi Boulbra nuclear site characteristics;

    • Studies related to NPP ownership and industrial schemes;

    • Managing the pre-contractual and contractual activities related to Phases 2 and 3 of the IAEA’s milestones approach;

    • Developing the required qualified human resources for NPP operation.

  2. The Moroccan Nuclear Safety and Security Authority (AMSSNuR) is the nuclear regulatory body for the NPP project. In accordance with Article 172 of Law No. 142-12, AMSSNuR is entrusted with the following regulatory tasks and functions:

    • The elaboration of legislation and regulation texts and guides;

    • The authorization and control of nuclear installations;

    • Support and advice to the Government in matters relating to nuclear safety, security and safeguards;

    • Communication with stakeholders and public information about safety and regulatory process;

    • Cooperation.

  3. CNESTEN is the national entity in charge of research and development and training activities in nuclear technology and radiation protection. It provides technical support to the Government and to other private companies on issues related to radioactive sources uses in many activities (medical, industrial, agriculture) and should be the technical support organization of the safety authority.

These three national organizations are members of the CRED committee.

2.3.3. Project funding

Each entity of CRED is responsible for financing its own nuclear power project studies.

Regarding the financing of the Sidi Boulbra NPP project itself, the financial scheme has not yet been considered. It will be studied in detail and defined later. The build–operate–transfer (BOT) scheme, which has been successfully used for previous thermal power projects in Morocco (coal, CCGT and renewable energy plants), could however be considered.

2.3.4. Electric grid development

The Moroccan electric grid is being continuously developed to ensure distribution of the electricity produced by the existing power plants and those under construction and planned. The necessary upgrades to the grid will be conducted in time to ensure the safe operation of Sidi Boulbra NPP. ONEE-BE continually updates the NPP/grid interaction study, taking into account the energy mix portfolio (renewables, gas, etc.).

2.3.5. Site selection

As mentioned above, extensive siting studies were undertaken by ONEE from 1984 to 1994 with the assistance of the French consultant SOFRATOME and the IAEA. These studies resulted in the selection and qualification of the Sidi Boulbra site.

Currently, the Sidi Boulbra site is being subjected to a continuous monitoring programme, the goal of which is to monitor the evolution of the site characteristics in the relevant areas (meteorology, demography, industrial environment, etc.).


Not applicable.


Not applicable.


Not applicable.


Not applicable.


2.8.1. R&D organizations


CNESTEN is the Moroccan nuclear research organization. The nuclear research centre of Maâmora consists of a TRIGA Mark II research reactor coupled with laboratories specializing in various nuclear technical fields. Supported by these facilities and skilled staff, CNESTEN makes a major contribution to the development of nuclear techniques and participates in nuclear energy promotion in the country. It was designated by the IAEA as a Collaborating Centre in the fields of radioactive applications in water resources and also as a Designated Regional Centre in the field of non-destructive testing.

Presently, CNESTEN is the national centre for radioactive waste management, ensuring the safe collection and safe interim storage of solid radioactive waste released by its own laboratories and by industries and national medical centres.

  • Moroccan Universities

Some universities currently provide courses in nuclear and reactor physics, in addition to conducting research in collaboration with the nuclear research centre of Maâmora and other international research centres and universities. This would provide the training of the human resources required for the nuclear power programme.

  • GMTR and AIGAM

The Moroccan Association in Reactor Technology (Groupement Marocain de Technologie des Réacteurs Nucléaires, GMTR) and the Moroccan Association of Nuclear Engineers (Association des Ingénieurs en Génie Atomique du Maroc, AIGAM) are two associations composed of highly qualified scientists (university professors and nuclear engineers) in the nuclear field. GMTR was created around 20 years ago and specializes in R&D related to nuclear reactor physics. GMTR has held many national and international conferences in Morocco, with many specialized publications. The AIGAM was created more than 30 years ago, and its main activity is to popularize radioactive and nuclear energy applications. AIGAM has held many national and international conferences in Morocco and edits many thematic books in the field.

  • CNRP

The National Centre for Radiation Protection (CNRP) is in charge of the control and inspection of the use of the radioactive sources. CNRP is considered a department of the Ministry of Health. It operates in the areas of medicine, industry, agriculture and research. This centre is the counterpart of the WHO (World Health Organization) and provides training in radiation protection in collaboration with the IAEA.

2.8.2. Development of advanced nuclear technologies

Not applicable.

2.8.3. International cooperation and initiatives

Morocco participates in the activities of the International Project on Innovative Nuclear Reactors and Fuel Cycles (INPRO) and the African Regional Cooperative Agreement for Research, Development and Training Related to Nuclear Science and Technology (AFRA). Other cooperation agreements have been signed between CNESTEN and some international organizations such as the IAEA, as well as the European Union, the Government of the United States of America, certain laboratories and certain French institutions, such as the Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA) and the Institute for Radioprotection and Nuclear Security (IRSN). The safety authority AMSSNuR is developing cooperation with the European Union and the IAEA. Furthermore, ONEE-BE has agreed to a technical cooperation project with Électricité de France (EDF) in the field of nuclear project studies.


CNESTEN participates in nuclear training activities as an African platform for the IAEA training activities provided to French speaking African countries. Annually, the centre organizes a Post-Graduate Educational Course in Radiological Safety in collaboration with the IAEA, the French Nuclear Engineering School (INSTN) and the Moroccan Engineering School (EMI). It also accommodates a national training and support centre for nuclear security to deal with all aspects of nuclear security.

Some national universities currently provide courses in basic nuclear physics and introduction to nuclear reactor physics in order to provide the human resources development for a future potential NPP project.

The programme could also count on Moroccan nuclear experts and scientists working abroad, who could enrich the required human resources, once the decision to implement the NPP project is taken.

At present, the national strategy regarding human resources development is under study by CRED in the framework of the IWP elaborated by the IAEA and CRED.


Stakeholder communication and public information are two major aspects assigned to the Moroccan safety and security authority AMSSNuR, which was recently established. CRED is elaborating the national strategy of stakeholder communication and public information with respect to the development of a nuclear power programme in the framework of the IWP activities related to the INIR Mission with IAEA assistance.



3.1.1. Regulatory authority(ies)

A new nuclear law (No. 142-12) on nuclear and radioactive safety and security was established and adopted in Morocco in 2014. In this framework, an independent Nuclear Safety and Security Authority, called AMSSNuR (Agence Marocaine de Sûreté et de Sécurité Nucléaires et Radiologiques) was established in 2015, including being granted authority and financial support. This authority is under the auspices of the Government.

AMSSNuR will be responsible for approving licences for any nuclear installation or activity that uses radioactive sources and nuclear energy, including: reviewing and completing the existing regulatory texts and legal infrastructure, setting up national safety standards and guides based on international and recognized safety practices, controlling and assessing the safety of organizations using radioactive sources and nuclear facilities, assisting the Government in setting up a national plan related to physical protection of radioactive sources and nuclear facilities, establishing emergency plans in case of nuclear accidents, dealing with public acceptance and different stakeholder relations, developing and reinforcing international cooperation in nuclear fields and dealing with nuclear warranties.

One of the priorities of AMSSNuR over the next four years is to review and complete or to repeal the existing regulatory decrees and texts promulgated in the framework of the first nuclear law No. 005 of 1971 (see Section 3.2). To this end, a national committee composed of different stakeholders involved in nuclear fields commenced activities in 2017.

3.1.2. Licensing process

While a new decree emanating from the new nuclear law No. 142-12, related to licensing of nuclear installations is being developed, Decree No. 2-94-666 of 7 December 1994 remains in force.

The licensing process is defined in Decree No. 2-94-666 of 7 December 1994 on the Licensing, Control and Inspection of Nuclear Installations. This decree made the Ministry of Energy and Mines the authority responsible for the issuance, jointly with other national authorities, of permits required for the construction, operation and shutdown of nuclear facilities.

Construction permit: Decree of the head of Government after obtaining the approval of the local authorities and consulting the national safety committee.

  1. Permit for releasing radioactive effluents: Joint order of the Ministers of Energy, Public Health, Environment and Public Works.

  2. Commissioning permit: Order of Ministry of Energy and Mines.

  3. Operation permit: Order of Ministry of Energy and Mines.

  4. Shutdown permit: Order of Ministry of Energy and Mines.

The applications for different licences must be submitted with the corresponding safety analysis reports (preliminary, temporary and final reports).


Currently, the national legal and regulatory framework consists of the new nuclear law and a set of decrees which were promulgated in the framework of the first nuclear law No. 005 of 1971. As mentioned above, these decrees are being reviewed by the new nuclear safety and security authority AMSSNuR, in the light of the new nuclear law.

The new national nuclear law promulgated in 2014 is Law No. 142-12 on Nuclear and Radiological Safety and Security.

  1. Decree No. 2-94-666 of 7 December 1994 on the Licensing, Control and Inspection of Nuclear Installations defined the Ministry of Energy and Mines as the sole competent authority regulating, at the national level, the safety of nuclear facilities.

Decree No. 2-97-30 of 28 October 1997 on radiation protection appoints the Ministry of Health, represented by CNRP, as the only national authority in charge of ensuring radiation protection of the public and delivering permits for use of radioactive sources. This decree deals with the conditions required for radiation protection and establishes, based on the fundamental standards of the IAEA and the recommendations of the ICRP, a limit for the exposure to radiation with which the operator of a nuclear facility must conform by use of adequate measures and tools to ensure nuclear safety for its personnel and the public. This decree defines the area with limited access to a given nuclear installation and the requirements for the operator to regularly monitor the absorbed doses, to establish an emergency plan, to carefully monitor all forms of radioactive releases, and the like. It is planned in that same decree that all these measures will be imposed by laws developed jointly in collaboration with the authority body and the other concerned national entities.

3.2.1. Nuclear installation permits

Table 6 summarizes the prerequisites for each type of permit.


Type of permit
Nature of the granted permit
Preliminary decisions
Required duration for obtaining the permit
Construction Permit
Decree by the head of Government
Provincial assembly

Minister of the Interior
Minister of Health
Minister of Public Works
Minister of Agriculture
Minister of the Environment
and consultation with the National Commission for Nuclear Safety (NCNS)*
12 months
Permit for releasing radioactive effluents
Joint order of the ministers in charge of Energy, Public Health, Environment and Public Works
6 months
Commissioning permit
Order of Ministry of Energy
6 months
Operation permit
Order of Ministry of Energy
6 months
Shutdown permit
Order of Ministry of Energy
6 months

* This national commission was created in 1996 in order to evaluate the safety documents related to nuclear facilities requested by applicants and to assist the Ministry of Energy and Mines in granting licences for construction and operation. It assessed and analysed safety reports for the construction and operation of the nuclear research centre of Maâmora (CNESTEN). At present, this commission has been replaced by AMSSNuR.

3.2.2. Civil liability for nuclear damage

The issue of civil liability regarding possible nuclear damages is regulated by Dahir (Decree) No. 104-278 of 7 January 2005 that promulgates Law No. 12-02. This law stipulates that any operator of a nuclear facility is liable for any damage caused by:

  1. An accident occurring at a facility;

  2. A nuclear matter that comes or emanates from or is sent to a facility.

This law also requires the operator to cover all probable nuclear damages by means of financial guarantees that equal the amount of its civil liability. The details and conditions of this financial coverage are subject to approval by the civil authorities concerned. The financial amount required from a single nuclear operator for covering the nuclear damages arising from one nuclear accident is set at 100 million SDR. However, the public administration can set a lower amount provided that the amount is not less than 5 million SDR.

The State has the responsibility to ensure the complementary financial amount in case the insurance or financial guarantee of the nuclear operator is not enough to meet the requirements of repair for all nuclear damages. The complementary amount ensured by the State should not, however, exceed the amount for civil liability applicable to the operator. It should be pointed out that Morocco published, via the Dahir (Decree) of 19 May 2000, its agreement concerning the complementary funds for nuclear damage.

3.2.3. Nuclear safety

Law No. 1-99-304 of 12 November 2002, published the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Materials, opened for signature in Vienna and New York on 3 March 1980.

The Convention on Nuclear Safety was signed by Morocco in December 1994.

3.2.4. Radioactive waste and fuel

Morocco ratified, by the Dahir (Decree) of 19 May 2000, the joint agreement for the safe management of spent fuel and radioactive waste. The aim of this agreement is to improve the level of safety in the management of spent fuel and radioactive waste.

3.2.5. Environmental protection

The principal laws concerning environmental protection are as follows:

  • Law No. 12-03 relating to environmental impact studies;

  • Law No. 13-03 relating to air pollution.

The Dahir (Decree) of 12 July 1999 published the protocol concerning the prevention of pollution of the Mediterranean Sea by the trans-border movements of dangerous waste and their elimination.

3.2.6. Notification of emergency situations related to nuclear accidents

In 1993, Morocco ratified two agreements: one related to the Convention on Early Notification of a Nuclear Accident and the Convention on Assistance in the Event of a Nuclear Accident or Radiological Emergency.

3.2.7. Non-Proliferation Treaty and additional protocol

Morocco ratified the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) in 1970 and also ratified the agreement with the IAEA for the application of safeguards in connection with the NPT; further, Morocco also ratified the Additional Protocol in 2011.



International treaties, conventions and agreements
Agreement on the Privileges and Immunities of the IAEA

In force: 1977-03-30
Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material
In force: 2002-09-22

Amendment of the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material

In force: 2016-05-08

The 1963 Vienna Convention on Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage

Signature: 1984-11-30

Convention on Early Notification of a Nuclear Accident
In force: 07-10-1993

Convention on Assistance in the Case of a Nuclear Accident or Radiological Emergency

In force: 1993-11-07
Convention on Nuclear Safety

Signature: 1994-12-01
Joint Protocol Relating to the Application of the Vienna Convention and the Paris Convention

Signature: 1988-09-21
Joint Convention on the Safety of Spent Fuel Management and on the Safety of Radioactive Waste Management

In force: 2001-06-18
Protocol to Amend the 1963 Vienna Convention on Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage

In force: 2003-10-04
Convention on Supplementary Compensation for Nuclear Damage

In force 2015-04-15

Revised Supplementary Agreement Concerning the Provision of Technical Assistance by the IAEA (RSA)

In force: 1989-03-20
African Regional Cooperative Agreement for Research, Development and Training Related to Nuclear Science and Technology (AFRA) — Third Extension

In force: 2015-07-08

Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT)
Moscow: 1970-11- 20
London: 1970-11-30
Washington: 1970-12-16
Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT)
Ratification: 2000-04-17
African Nuclear Weapon–Free Zone Treaty
Global Initiative Against Nuclear Terrorism

Active member
International Framework for Nuclear Energy Cooperation (IFNEC)

UN Security Council Resolution No. 1540 (non-proliferation of WMD)

Code of conduct on safety and security of radioactive sources

International Convention on the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism

Ratification 2010-03-31
Safeguards agreements
Application of safeguards in connection with the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (with Protocol)

In force: 1975-02-18

Additional Protocol to the Agreement between the IAEA and Morocco for the application of safeguards in connection with the NPT
In force: 2011-04-21


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  • Centre National de l’Energie des Sciences et des Techniques Nucléaires (CNESTEN)

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