The Middle East entries taken from the World Nuclear Association Report on Emerging Nuclear Energy Countries


In 2007 Turkey produced 191 billion kWh/yr gross from 40.6 GWe of plant. In 2007 49% of electricity came from gas (two thirds of this from Russia, most of the rest from Iran), 28% from coal and 19% from hydro. Demand growth is 8% pa. Per capita consumption has risen from 800 kWh/yr in 1990 to almost 2000 kWh/yr.

Several nuclear power projects have been proposed: In 1970 a feasibility study concerned a 300 MWe plant, in 1973 the electricity authority decided to build a 80 MWe demonstration plant but didn’t, then in 1976 the Akkuyu site on the Mediterranean coast near the port of Mersin was licensed for a nuclear plant. In 1980 an attempt to build several plants failed for lack of government financial guarantee, in 1993 a nuclear plant was included in the country’s investment program following a request for preliminary proposals in 1992. Then revised tender specifications were not released until December 1996. Bids for a 2000 MWe plant at Akkuyu were received from Westinghouse + Mitsubishi, AECL and Framatome + Siemens. Following the final bid deadline in October 1997, the government delayed its decision no less than eight times between June 1998 and April 2000, when plans were abandoned due to economic circumstances.

Early in 2006 the province of the port city of Sinop on the Black Sea was chosen to host a commercial nuclear power plant. This has the advantage of cooling water temperatures about 5 degrees below those at Akkuyu, allowing about 1% greater power output from any thermal unit. A 100 MWe demonstration plant was to be built there first, then 5000 MWe of further plants to come into service from 2012. Some kind of public-private partnership is envisaged for construction and operation.

In August 2006 the government said it planned to have three nuclear power plants total 4500 MWe operating by 2012-15, a US$ 10.5 billion investment. Discussions have been under way with Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd re two 750 MWe CANDU units as an initial investment. These and the PWR type are apparently preferred. The first units of some 5000 MWe total will be built at Akkuyu, since the site is already licensed, but licensing is proceeding for Sinop.

In 2007 a new bill concerning construction and operation of nuclear power plants and sale of their electricity was passed by parliament and subsequently approved by the President. The bill provides for the Turkish Atomic Energy Authority (TAEK) to set the criteria for building and operating the plant. The Turkish Electricity Trade & Contract Corporation (TETAS) will buy all the power under 15-year contracts. The bill also provides for public institutions to build the plants if other offers are not satisfactory. It also addresses waste management and decommissioning, providing for a National Radioactive Waste Account (URAH) and a Decommissioning Account (ICH) which generators will pay into progressively.

TETAS called for tenders in March 2008, inviting bids for the first nuclear power plant at Akkuyu. TAEK issued specifications, allowing for PWR, BWR or PHWR types of at least 600 MWe and with 40-year service life. Design certification in country of origin was acceptable, allowing TAEK to concentrate on site-specific aspects of the 4800 MWe project. In the event, only one bid was received, from Atomstroyexport in conjunction with Inter Rao (both from Russia) and Park Teknik (Turkey), for an AES-2006 power plant with four 1200 MWe reactors. After some deliberation, TAEK found that it met technical criteria. (It was later reported that TAEK required foreign vendors to take back used fuel, and none except ASE were prepared to do so.)

Following commercial advice from TETAS, a government decision was expected in April 2009, but in fact only a series of statements resulted, regarding the cost of power over the first 15 years being too high. Then in August 2009 two agreements between TAEK and Rosatom were signed with much fanfare. One was a nuclear cooperation agreement, the other was a standard one on the early notification on a nuclear accident and the exchange of information on nuclear facilities. These seem to progress the possibility of a Russian nuclear project at Akkuyu, probably with 25% government equity to dampen the likely electricity price rise. The first reactor was expected to come on line in 2016, and others in 2017, 2018 and 2019. However, following a ruling by the country’s top legal body, TETAS canceled the Atomstroyexport proposal and said that a new tender would be launched soon.

In March 2010 Atomstroyexport said it expected to sign an intergovernmental agreement to build, own and operate the Akkuyu plant in May. Further agreements for design, construction and electricity supply could be signed by the end of 2010, involving Park Teknik and state generation company Elektrik Uretim AS (EUAS). Atomstroyexport and Inter RAO UES intend to own not less than 51% of the design company.

It is reported that Turkey’s energy ministry plans to draft a new nuclear energy bill which will be brought to parliament for ratification in June 2010. This will cover the recent agreement in principle between Turkey and Russia to proceed with constructing the nuclear power plant at Akkuyu as a ‘state to state partnership’, without holding an open tender. The bill may also cover the construction of a second planned nuclear plant at Sinop. Meanwhile the government announced that it would take a 25% share in any future nuclear power projects.

A February 2008 announcement had said that preparatory work was under way at Sinop on the Black Sea to build a second nuclear plant there, along with a EUR 1.7 billion nuclear technology centre. In March 2010 an agreement was signed between Korea Electric Power Corporation (Kepco) and EUAS for Kepco to prepare a bid to build a nuclear power plant at Sinop, with four APR-1400 reactors. The bid, in conjunction with local construction group Enka Insaat ve Sanayi, is due in August. If the bid is accepted, an intergovernmental agreement would follow and the state would take a 25% stake in the plant.

There are proposals to build further nuclear capacity at another site, as part of 100 GWe required by 2030. Reports suggest that TAEK has identified Igneada on the Black Sea, close to Bulgaria, as a third nuclear power plant site.

Near Istanbul, eight Organised Industrial Parks comprising 70,000 firms and using 1.5 billion kWh per year set up a joint venture – IOSBB – to construct the country’s first nuclear power plant(s) of 1500 MWe each. Likely sites mentioned included Sinop on Black Sea and Gokova on the Mediterranean. However, nothing has been heard of this proposal for some time.

Turkey has modest uranium resources, including 7400 tU listed in the 2007 Red Book which are amenable to mining by in situ leaching. In March AWH Corp agreed with Aldridge Uranium Inc to acquire a 75% interest in the main deposits and seek to prove up resources of 7700 tU.

In May 2008 a civil nuclear cooperation agreement with the USA entered into force.


Iran produced some 201 billion kWh gross in 2006 from 31 GWe of plant, giving per capita consumption of 1943 kWh/yr. 74% of electricity comes from gas, 17% from oil, 9% hydro.

In the mid 1970s construction of two 1,200 MW(e) PWR units was started at Bushehr by Siemens KWU. In 1979 this was suspended. The Islamic Republic of Iran revived the nuclear power program in 1991 with a bilateral agreement with China for the supply of two 300 MW(e) PWR units of Chinese design, similar to the Qinshan power plant, but nothing eventuated.

In 1994, Russia’s Minatom and the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) agreed to complete unit 1 of Bushehr nuclear power plant with a VVER-1000 unit, using mostly the infrastructure already in place. This long-awaited 915 MWe plant, being constructed by Atomstroyexport, is nearing completion and is expected to start up late in 2008, with commercial operation mid 2009. A second reactor is planned at the site.

After two years delay due to Iran’s reluctance to return spent fuel to Russia without being paid for it, two agreements were signed early in 2005 covering both supply of fresh fuel for the new Bushehr nuclear reactor and its return to Russia after use. Supply of the fuel was originally contingent upon Iran’s signing the Additional Protocol to its safeguards agreement with the IAEA. It has done this but not ratified it. The Russian agreement means that Iran’s nuclear fuel supply is secured for the foreseeable future, removing any justification for enrichment locally. It also means that the anticipated 6-7 TWh/yr from the new reactor will free up about 1.6 million tonnes of oil or 1800 million cubic metres of gas per year which can be exported for hard currency.

Russia’s Atomstroyexport in December 2007 delivered the first of 163 fuel assemblies for the initial core of Bushehr. The fuel is enriched to 3.62% or less and is under full international safeguards. The Russian government had withheld supply as negotiations over Iran’s uranium enrichment activities proceeded.

The AEOI has announced that a new indigenous 360 MWe nuclear power plant is to be built at Darkhovin in Khuzestan province in the southwest, at the head of the Gulf, where two Framatome 900 MWe plants were about to be constructed in 1970s. It has also invited bids for two units of up to 1600 MWe to be built near Bushehr and come on line about 2016.

Iran also has a major project developing uranium enrichment capability and in November 2007 it announced that the initial target of 3000 centrifuges had been reached – evidently 18 cascades operating. This program is heavily censured by the UN, since no commercial purpose is evident.

See also Iran paper.

Gulf states, UAE

In December 2006 the six member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) – Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Qatar and Oman – announced that the Council was commissioning a study on the peaceful use of nuclear energy. France agreed to work with them on this, and Iran pledged assistance with nuclear technology.

Together they produce 273 billion kWh per year, all from fossil fuels (2003) and 5-7% annual demand growth. In 2006 the UAE produced 66.8 billion kWh gross, 98% of it from gas.

They have total installed capacity of about 80 GWe, with a common grid. There is also a large demand for desalination, currently fuelled by oil and gas. UAE itself has some 18 GWe installed.

In February 2007 the six states agreed with the IAEA to cooperate on a feasibility study for a regional nuclear power and desalination program. Saudi Arabia was leading the investigation and thought that a program might emerge about 2009.

The six nations are all signatories of the NPT and the UAE ratified a safeguards agreement with IAEA in 2003. In mid 2008 it appointed an ambassador to IAEA.

In April 2008 the UAE independently published a comprehensive policy on nuclear energy. This projected escalating electricity demand from 15.5 GWe in 2008 to over 40 GWe in 2020, with natural gas supplies sufficient for only half of this. Imported coal was dismissed as an option due to environmental and energy security implications. Nuclear power “emerged as a proven, environmentally promising and commercially competitive option which could make a significant base-load contribution to the UAE’s economy and future energy security.” Hence 20 GWe nuclear is envisaged from about 14 plants, with nearly one quarter of this operating by 2020. Two reactors are envisaged for a site between Abu Dhabi and Ruwais, and a third possibly at Al Fujayrah on the Indian Ocean coast.

Accordingly, and as recommended by the IAEA, the UAE established a Nuclear Energy Program Implementation Organization which has set up the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) as a public entity, initially funded with $100 million, to evaluate and implement nuclear power plans within UAE.

In October 2009 the Federal Law Regarding the Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy was signed into effect, providing for development of a system for licensing and control of nuclear material, as well as establishing the independent Federal Authority of Nuclear Regulation to oversee the whole UAE’s nuclear energy sector, and appointing the regulator’s board, headed by a senior US regulator. The law also makes it illegal to develop, construct or operate uranium enrichment or spent fuel processing facilities within the country’s borders.

The UAE invited expressions of interest from nine companies for construction of its first nuclear power plant. ENEC reduced this to a short list of three and sought bids by mid 2009. The three bidders on the short list comprised Areva, with Suez and Total, proposing its EPR, GE-Hitachi proposing its ABWR, and the Korean consortium proposing the APR-1400 PWR technology. The last group is led by Korea Electric Power Co. (KEPCO), and involves Samsung, Hyundai and Doosan, as well as Westinghouse, whose System 80+ design (certified in the USA) has been developed into the APR-1400. The UAE has expressed an intention to standardize on one technology.

Late in December 2009 ENEC announced that it selected a bid from the KEPCO-led consortium for four APR-1400 reactors. The value of the contract for the construction, commissioning and fuel loads for four units is about US$20 billion, with a high percentage of the contract being offered under a fixed-price arrangement. The consortium also expects to earn another $20 billion by jointly operating the reactors for 60 years.

By 2020 it hopes to have four 1400 MWe nuclear plants running and producing electricity at a quarter the cost of that from gas. ENEC has appointed the global full-service program management, engineering, construction and operations firm C2HM Hill to manage the UAE’s plans for bringing nuclear power to the country.
See also

The USA and South Korea signed bilateral nuclear energy cooperation agreements with the UAE in January and June 2009 respectively. The UK and Japan have signed Memoranda of Understanding on nuclear energy cooperation with UAE. France has a nuclear cooperation agreement with UAE and has discussed nuclear energy development with Saudi Arabia, offering Atomic Energy Commission (CAE) assistance. The USA has signed memoranda of understanding re nuclear cooperation with Saudi Arabia and Bahrain.

Saudi Arabia is the main electricity producer and consumer in the Gulf States, with 180 TWh production in 2006, fairly evenly split between oil and gas. In August 2009 it announced that it was considering a nuclear power program.

Qatar has undertaken its own investigation in to the viability of nuclear power and late in 2008 announced that there was not yet a strong case for proceeding, especially in the absence of modern 300 to 600 MWe reactors being available. Qatar expects to need 7900 MWe of capacity by 2010, along with desalination capacity of 1.3 million cubic metres per day in addition. In 2006 it produced 15.3 TWh, all from gas.

Oman also investigated nuclear power, joined GNEP, and in June 2009 signed a nuclear cooperation agreement with Russia. However, late in 2008 it said that since most of its demand was peak load, nuclear did not seem appropriate, though investment in a nuclear plant in a neighbouring GCC country was possible. In 2006 it produced 13.6 TWh, mostly from gas.

Kuwait is considering its own nuclear program for power and water, with French assistance, and in March 2009 moved to set up a national nuclear energy commission, in cooperation with the IAEA. Most of its 47.6 TWh production in 2006 was from oil.

See also UAE paper.


Jordan imports about 95% of its energy needs. It generated 11.6 Billion kWh and imported 0.5 billion kWh of electricity in 2006 for its six million people. It has 2400 MWe of generating capacity and expects to need an additional 1200 MWe by 2015, and expects doubled electricity consumption by 2030. Per capita electricity consumption is about 2000 kWh/yr. Also it has a “water deficit” of about 500 million cubic metres per year.

Jordan’s Committee for Nuclear Strategy has set out a program for nuclear power to provide 30% of electricity by 2030 or 2040, and to provide for exports.

In mid 2008 an agreement between the Jordan Atomic Energy Commission (JAEC) and Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd (AECL) with SNC-Lavalin is to conduct a 3-year feasibility study on building an AECL 740 MWe Enhanced Candu-6 reactor using natural uranium fuel, for power and desalination. In August 2008 it was reported that the government intended to sign up for an Areva reactor, and discussions with Areva in November pointed to an 1100 MWe unit, presumably from Atmea, the Areva-Mitsubishi joint venture which is developing such a unit for countries embarking upon nuclear power programs.

Site options are limited to 30 kilometres of Red Sea coast near Aqaba, and JAEC has confirmed that the site will be in this area.

Discussion of environmental aspects is under way with Israel and Egypt. JAEC has said that a tender is likely in mid 2010 with construction of a plant – initially 750 too 1100 MWe – starting in 2013 and operation by 2020. Further nuclear projects are likely to focus on desalination.

In December 2008 JAEC signed a memorandum of understanding with Korea Electric Power Corp (KEPCO, parent company of KHNP) to carry out site selection and feasibility study on nuclear power and desalination projects. This is related to Doosan Heavy Industries, Korea’s main nuclear equipment maker, carrying out desalination-related work in Jordan under a separate recent agreement, and KEPCO having won a tender to build a 400 MWe gas-fired power plant on a build-own-operate basis. Up to 40% of the capacity of any nuclear plant would likely be used for desalination.

In mid 2009 the JAEC was evaluating proposals from four reactor vendors: KEPCO, Areva-MHI, Atomstroyexport and AECL for five technology options: APR-1400, Atmea-1, AES-2006, AES-92 and enhanced Candu-6 respectively. In September JAEC contracted with Tractabel Engineering, a subsidiary of GdF Suez, to undertake a two-year siting study for the new plant some 25 km south of Al Aqabah. In October JAEC announced the launch of a feasibility study by Tractabel on a site 12 km east of the Gulf of Aqaba coastline. In November JAEC said it was about to sign an $11.3 million agreement with Worley Parsons for the pre-construction phase of a 1000 MWe nuclear power plant. The firm is to carry out technology selection – preparing the tender and evaluating bidders, as well as assisting in fuel cycle engineering and waste management for the plant. It will also assist in establishing a utility company, expected to be a public-private entity, to own and operate the plant.

In December 2009 the JAEC selected a consortium headed by the Korean Atomic Energy Research Institute (KAERI) with Daewoo to build a 5 MW research reactor at the Jordan University for Science & Technology by 2014 – the country’s first. Cost is expected to be $173 million. The Korean consortium was reported to be bidding against firms from Argentina, China and Russia.

The country has low-cost uranium resources of 140,000 tU plus another 59,000 tU in phosphate deposits, and plans to mine these have been announced by the government. A feasibility study on recovering uranium as a by-product of phosphate production is under way.

In October 2008 a joint venture between JAEC and Areva was established to define uranium resources in central Jordan and in February 2010 this became the JV company Nabatean Energy. Also the Jordan French Uranium Mining Company (JFUMC) was set up as a joint venture between Areva and Jordan Energy Resources Inc. It has been operating within a 1,400-square-kilometre concession area in the central region, including the Swaqa, Khan Azzabib, Wadi Maghar and Attarat areas. It will carry out a feasibility study on mining, which had been envisaged from 2012, and is understood to be in phosphate deposits. Areva secured an agreement giving it exclusive uranium mining rights in central Jordan for 25 years. Areva said its goal was “to create a full partnership with Jordan on training and obtaining nuclear technology”. China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) has been searching for uranium at Hamra-Hausha in the north, and Wadi Baheyya in the south, while Rio Tinto has been searching in Wadi Sahab Abiad, close to the Saudi Arabian border.

Jordan has signed nuclear cooperation agreements with the USA, Canada, France, UK and Russia, in respect to both power and desalination, and is seeking help from the IAEA. It has signed a nuclear cooperation agreement with China, covering uranium mining in Jordan and nuclear power, and others with South Korea and Japan related to infrastructure including nuclear power and desalination. Jordan joined the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership (GNEP) in 2007.


Egypt produced 115 billion kWh gross in 2006 from 18 GWe of plant, giving per capita consumption of 1350 kWh/yr. In 2006 72% of electricity came from gas, 16% from oil and 11% from hydro. Demand growth is about 7% pa.

In 1964 a 150 MWe nuclear plant with 20,000 m3/day desalination was proposed then in 1974 a 600 MWe plant was proposed. The government’s Nuclear Power Plants Authority (NPPA) was then established in 1976, and in 1983 the El Dabaa site lon the Mediterranean coast was selected for a nuclear plant. This plan was aborted following the Chernobyl accident. More recently the NPPA carried out a feasibility study for a cogeneration plant for electricity and desalination, updating it in 2003.

A new agreement on peaceful uses of atomic energy was signed with Russia at the end of 2004, and a further one in March 2008, reviving Egypt’s plans for a nuclear power and desalination plant there, supported by Rosatom. . In 2006 a nuclear cooperation agreement was reached with China.

Egypt already has a 1961-vintage 2 MW Russian research reactor serviced by Russia, and a 22 MW Argentinian research reactor partly supported by Russia and which started up in 1997.

On the basis of the feasibility study for a cogeneration plant for electricity and potable water at El-Dabaa, in October 2006 the Minister for Energy announced that a 1000 MWe reactor would be built there by 2015. The US$ 1.5 to 2 billion project would be open to foreign participation.

In December 2008 the Energy & Electricity Ministry announced that following an international tender, it had decided to award a $180 million contract to Bechtel to choose the reactor technology, choose the site for the plant, train operating personnel, and provide technical services over some ten years. However, in May 2009 the government transferred this contract to Worley Parsons, who signed it in June with the Nuclear Power Plant Authority for $160 million over 8 years to support the establishment of a 1200 MWe nuclear plant. The ministry confirmed that Egypt aims to begin generating nuclear electricity in 2017 at one of five possible sites. Early in 2010 the proposal had expanded to four plants, the first being on line in 2019. In March 2010 a legislative framework to regulate nuclear installations and activities in order to ensure the protection of facilities, individuals and property was signed into law.


It was reported in September 2007 that Yemen had signed an agreement with Texas-based PowerEd Corporation to build 5000 MWe of nuclear power capacity by 2017. However, with 2006 production of 5 billion kWh (corresponding to about 700 MWe of base-load capacity) this did not seem plausible, and the government apparently cancelled the deal.


Israel produces 52 billion kWh gross per year, about 69% from coal and 30% from imported oil and gas in 2006. Later figures give 60% coal and 40% gas. It has little reserve capacity. Net exports are 1.8 billion kWh/yr.

In the 1980s the state-owned Israel Electric Corporation (IEC) set aside a site in the southern Negev at Shivta for a nuclear power plant, and discussions were held with France regarding equipment. The question was raised again in 2007 by the National Infrastuctures Ministry and Atomic Energy Commission. A twin reactor nuclear plant of 1200-1500 MWe under IAEA safeguards is envisaged for the site by 2020. Early in 2010 Israel said that it would prefer to develop its nuclear plant in collaboration with Jordan, but the sentiment was not reciprocated.

Israel has a 5 MWt research reactor at Nahal Soreq near Tel Aviv under IAEA safeguards and another 70 MWt French-built heavy water reactor at Dimona in the Negev, which is understood to have been used for military plutonium production.

Israel is one of three significant countries which have never been part of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), so any supply of nuclear equipment or fuel from outside the country would be severely constrained. Unlike India and Pakistan, Israel has had no civil nuclear power program.


Syria produced 37 billion kWh gross in 2006, 51% of this from oil, 38% from gas, 11% from hydro.

Syria had plans in the 1980s to build a VVER-440 reactor but abandoned these after the Chernobyl accident and due to the collapse of Soviet Union. With escalating oil and gas prices, nuclear power is now being considered again.

Meanwhile over 2001-07 Syria built at a remote location what appeared to be a gas-cooled reactor similar to the plutonium production unit at Yongbyong in North Korea. This was destroyed by an Israeli air strike in 2007 and the remains then demolished. Israel claimed that the facility was a 25 MWt gas-cooled reactor with military purpose. The project was clandestine and in breach of Syria’s obligations under the NPT.


Tunisia produced 14 billion kWh gross in 2006, almost all of this from gas.

The government is reported to be evaluating the possible construction of a 600 MWe nuclear plant costing US$ 1.14 billion.

In December 2006 a nuclear cooperation agreement was signed with France, focused on nuclear power and desalination, and in April 2008 this was amplified.


In 2006 Libya produced 24 billion kWh gross of electricity, 59% of this from gas, 41% from oil.

Early in 2007 it was reported that Libya was seeking an agreement for US assistance in building a nuclear power plant for electricity and desalination. In 2006 an agreement with France was signed for peaceful uses of atomic energy and in mid 2007 a memorandum of understanding related to building a mid-sized nuclear plant for seawater desalination. Areva TA would supply this, with some involvement of the French CEA, and consultations on the project continue. In 2008 Libya signed a civil nuclear cooperation agreement with Russia.

Early in 2010 the Libyan Atomic Energy Institute was preparing a nuclear law as part of the institutional infrastructure for setting up nuclear power plants.

In 2003 Libya had halted a clandestine program developing uranium enrichment capability, and fully opened itself to IAEA inspections.

Libya has a Russian 10 MW research reactor which is under IAEA safeguards.


Algeria produced 35 billion kWh gross of electricity in 2006, almost all from natural gas, and it is a major gas exporter.

In January 2007 Russia signed an agreement to investigate the establishment of nuclear power there. Further nuclear energy cooperation agreements with Argentina, China, France, and the USA followed over 2007-08, the French one coupled with strong commercial interest from Areva.

In February 2009 the government announced that it planned to build its first nuclear power plant to be operating about 2020, and might build a further unit every five years thereafter.

In September 2009 its National Mining Patrimony Agency put uranium exploration leases in the southern Tamanrasset province out for tender. The 2007 ‘Red Book’ shows the country having 26,000 tonnes of uranium resources.

Algeria has operated two research reactors since 1995, at Draria and Ain Ouessara. The 15 MWt Es-Salam plant is a Chinese heavy water reactor which started up in 1992, the Nur 1 MWe pool unit was built by INVAP of Argentina in the 1980s.


Morocco has growing electricity demand and produced 23 billion kWh gross in 2006. It also has requirements for desalination. In 2006 59% of electricity was supplied by coal, 20% by oil, 13% from gas.

The government has plans for building an initial nuclear power plant in 2016-17 at Sidi Boulbra, and Atomstroyexport is assisting with feasibility studies for this. It is also setting up the infrastructure to support a nuclear power program, including establishment of a nuclear safety authority and a radiation protection authority. Earlier proposals were for a 600 MWe nuclear power plant to be sited between the cities of Essaouira and Asfi.

Morocco has a 2 MW Triga research reactor under construction at Mamoura near Rabat.

For desalination, it has completed a pre-project study with China, at Tan-Tan on the Atlantic coast, using a 10 MWt heating reactor which produces 8000 m3/day of potable water by distillation.

In October 2007 a partnership with France to develop a nuclear power plant near Marrakesh was foreshadowed and a nuclear energy cooperation agreement was signed.

In January 2010 the government announced plans for two 1000 MWe nuclear reactors to start operation after 2020 as part of its submission to the Copenhagen Accord, agreed late in 2009. (Under the terms of the Copenhagen Accord, developing countries were invited to submit proposed Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions – NAMAs – demonstrating how they planned to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions through specified projects.)

In 2007 Areva signed an agreement with Morocco’s Office Cherifien des Phosphates (OCP) to investigate recovery of uranium from phosphoric acid. The amount of uranium in Morocco’s phosphates is reported to be very large.

The government’s Office National des Hydrocarbures et des Mines (ONHYM) is encouraging exploration for uranium to build upon that done by French and Russian geologists prior to 1982. Three areas are under investigation: Haute Moulouya, Wafagga and Sirwa. The first two have palaeochannel deposits.