"Morocco has shown a clear interest in participating in the modernised nuclear liability instruments," Karim El-Assefry, head of the Nuclear Applications and Safety Division of the country's Ministry of Energy, Mines and Environment, said at a recent virtual seminar on civil liability for nuclear damage.

INLEX held its latest meeting on 23 June (Image: D. Calma/IAEA)

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) issued a statement today about the meeting, which was held on 14-15 December for officials and stakeholders from Morocco with the goal of supporting the country to align its national legislation with the Convention on Supplementary Compensation for Nuclear Damage (CSC), which entered into force on 15 April 2015.

Organised at the request of the Moroccan government, the seminar provided an opportunity to discuss the IAEA’s comments on the revisions proposed to the 2005 Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Law (No. 12-0202) and to discuss Decree No 2-05-1560 of 21 April 2006, which implements the law.

"We contributed to the 1997 Diplomatic Conference which adopted the CSC and the Protocol to amend the original Vienna Convention. We signed both instruments then and ratified them two years later," El-Assefry said. "The IAEA’s comments on our national legislation and the explanations given during this important seminar will help us in ensuring effective national implementation of the instruments."

Morocco's biggest nuclear installation, the TRIGA Mark II research reactor, began operation in 2007 and is part of the National Centre for Nuclear Energy, Sciences and Technology (CNESTEN). The instruments on civil liability for nuclear damage adopted under the auspices of the IAEA aim to ensure compensation is available for damage, including trans-boundary damage, caused by an incident at a nuclear installation such as a nuclear power plant or research reactor or in the course of transporting nuclear material to or from such an installation.

Wolfram Tonhauser, head of the Nuclear and Treaty Law Section of the IAEA Office of Legal Affairs, said: "Having in place effective and coherent nuclear liability mechanisms at the national and global levels to ensure prompt and adequate compensation for nuclear damage is particularly important. Activities such as this virtual national seminar are part of our outreach activities in the field of nuclear liability which are carried out with the support of experts from the IAEA International Expert Group on Nuclear Liability (INLEX)."

In addition to the nuclear liability legislation, the national nuclear legal framework in Morocco is mainly contained in Law No. 142.12, adopted on 18 September 2014, related to nuclear and radiation safety, security and safeguards, and establishing an independent regulatory body, the Nuclear and Radiological Safety and Security Agency. Morocco received bilateral IAEA legislative assistance in the drafting of this law.

An advisory body established by the IAEA director general in September 2003, INLEX serves as a "forum of expertise", the agency said, to advise on all issues relating to civil liability for nuclear damage. Consisting of experts from around the world, including from countries with and without nuclear power plants, the expert group assists the IAEA Secretariat in developing explanatory texts, training materials and conducting outreach activities in the field.

Following the 2011 accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan, INLEX discussed and finalised recommendations to facilitate a global nuclear liability regime that addresses the concern of all IAEA Member States that might be affected by a nuclear accident, as requested by the 2011 IAEA Action Plan on Nuclear Safety.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News

Date: Thursday, 31 December 2020
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/IAEA-supports-Morocco-s-alignment-with-civil-liabi