Libya moving forward with nuclear power plans

08 January 2010

Libya is taking "practical measures" to advance its plans to use nuclear energy for power generation and desalination, the country's Nuclear Energy Institute has announced.

The country's official news agency, JANA, reported that the Libyan Atomic Energy Institute has begun "activating" agreements signed with what it describes as friendly countries on the peaceful use of nuclear energy, and is also working towards issuing a nuclear law. The passing of a federal law on the peaceful use of nuclear energy is an important step towards establishing the necessary legal and regulatory framework for any country wishing to embark on any a nuclear power program of any scale.

Atomic Energy Institute management committee secretary Ali Mohamed Gashout told JANA that a "specialized panel" had been formed to prepare the bill. According to Gashout, another commission has recently started work on identifying and selecting locations for nuclear power plants.

The north African country already has a Russian 10 MWt research reactor, which has been operating since 1981 and is under International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards. France, Argentina, Ukraine and Russia have all signed agreements on the peaceful use of nuclear energy with Libya since its voluntary decision to halt a clandestine uranium enrichment program and fully open itself to IAEA inspections in 2003. Canada has also signed a memorandum of understanding with the country.

Gashout also said that existing cooperation programs between the Libyan Atomic Energy Institute and France's CEA and Areva have been revised and activated. A new round of talks between the institute and Areva on a program of nuclear reactors for electricity and desalination is due to begin later this month, he noted, following on from a round of consultations in November 2009.


Researched and written

by World Nuclear News