The nuclear power in Algeria

The nuclear power in Algeria

After having hesitated for a long time, Algeria seems ready to embark on the higher stage of the use of nuclear energy. Currently, two nuclear reactors are active in the country. The first came on stream in 1989 and produces only one megawatt for research purposes. The second reactor, which entered service in 1993, has a capacity of 15 MW and is also used primarily for research and production of radiopharmaceutical products. Both facilities were built with technical support from Argentina for the first and China for the second. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is responsible for regularly monitoring these installations, in accordance with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty ratified in 1994 by Algeria.

Since 2012 and the decision to create a training and support center for nuclear safety (finally set up in 2015), the nuclear power in Algeria is preparing for a rise and therefore ensures that all safety criteria be met.

The authorities are banking on civilian nuclear power as recalled by the signing of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in September 2017. The new draft law highlights Algeria’s efforts to contribute to disarmament and the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons. The bill of December 27, 2018 intends to ensure “better development of nuclear energy in scientific research” while ensuring non-proliferation.

Important points, however, remain to be defined as the strategy that must support a reinforced nuclear. Agriculture, electricity and health are the three main areas that should benefit from the development of nuclear power, but no one knows yet in what proportions. In addition, the partner or partners who have the most to gain in this operation are still unknown. Algeria has taken care to collaborate with nearly ten countries (Russia, United States, China, France, etc.) in various fields related to nuclear power generation and safety. There is no doubt that competition between these countries will be intense to contribute to the development of Algerian civilian nuclear power.

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Arnaud Lefevre

Arnaud Lefevre is the Chief Executive Officer of Dynatom International. Arnaud is in charge of the international development of the business portfolio.