IAEA Agreement Gives African Students Online Access To Morocco Research Reactor

5 Mar (NucNet): Students from Kenya, Tanzania, Tunisia and South Africa will get online access to the facilities of a research reactor in Morocco for nuclear education and training following an agreement signed on1 March 2018, the International Atomic Energy Agency said.

The IAEA said researchers from other African countries are expected to join the project in the future.

Morocco’s National Centre for Nuclear Energy, Science and Technology (CNESTEN) will make its MA-R1 TRIGA research rector available to students of nuclear engineering and nuclear physics.

The agreement is part of the IAEA’s Internet Reactor Laboratory (IRL) programme, launched in 2015 to help mainly countries without a research reactor achieve their nuclear capacity building objectives and promote the development of science and technology. Through IRL, a host reactor is connected with university classrooms in other countries, providing practical insight into reactor physics, operation and applications. Students can access the research reactor via the internet for reactor physics experiments.

Students from Tanzania and Tunisia have already participated in the IRL project, through live transmissions from the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA) ISIS reactor. Now they will be able to receive experiments from Morocco’s MA-R1 TRIGA reactor, along with Kenyan and South African students.

Under the IRL, the CEA’s ISIS reactor broadcasts experiments to universities in Belarus and Lithuania, while the Bariloche research centre of Argentina’s National Atomic Energy Commission provides access to its RA-6 research reactor to guest institutions from Colombia, Cuba and Ecuador. Last year, the project expanded to Asia, with the Research and Education Centre of the Kyung Hee University in South Korea as the host reactor.

The IAEA said research reactors are vital for the study of modern nuclear analytical techniques, but there are only nine of them operating in Africa.

Related reports in the NucNet database (available to subscribers):

  • The Nuclear Option: Can This Be Africa’s Energy Future? (Insider No.2, 24 January 2018)




David Dalton


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