The round table on the role of nuclear technologies in achieving sustainable development, organized by the Arab Atomic Energy Agency, it was attended by a group of experts from Tunisia, Morocco and Russia with the purpose to provide and discuss technologies in atomic energy area, as well as prospects for a further cooperation between the parties.
The event held in the run-up to the November Conference of the UN on climate in Morocco was attended by the head of the Arab Atomic Energy Agency (AAEA), Mr. Abdelmajid Mahjoub, the Director General of the National Centre of Nuclear Sciences and Technologies (CNSTN), Mr Mokhtar Hamdi, the Director of Scientific Research of the National Center for Power and Nuclear Science and Technology in Morocco, Mr. Hamid Marah, the President of the Russian Green Cross and Deputy chairman of the Public Council of ROSATOM, Mr. Sergey Baranovsky, as well as representatives of the Tunisian electricity and gas company (STEG), experts and journalists from Tunisia and other countries of the Maghreb.
Nuclear technologies, for electricity generation and non energy application, in particular for desalination of sea water, were presented and discussed during the round table. Discussing the importance of the Moroccan experience and the Tunisian program, experts emphasized importance of an open public discussion about the acceptability of nuclear technologies and need of overcoming negative attitude to them. "The purpose of our event – to estimate the potential of peaceful atom in the context of sustainable development of Tunisia and the region", - Mr. Mahjoub said.
"The discussion on nuclear safety was at highest importance, especially as it concerns creation of energy sources, energy production and other methods of nuclear technologies application", - noted Sergey Baranovskiy emphasizing that peaceful nuclear applications should be developed confidently, in compliance with international standards. "At any stage of development of the project, there should be an interaction with civil society and the public shall take part in decision making process. In Russia, we treat this task delicately and have achieved high levels of public support of nuclear power through engaging the society, adhering to an open information policy with regard to implementation of nuclear projects, functioning of the Information centers", he said.
Dr. Hamid Marah paid attention to the importance to forming of public acceptance of atomic technologies too. He devoted his speech to development of the atomic program in Morocco. Mr. Marah noted that the public acceptance is an essential condition for the development of atomic program in line with political aspects, questions of environment protection, long-term strategy for development of the energy sector and safety of nuclear industry.
One of the major advantages of the atom, as participants noted, is its environmental friendliness and safety. And this fact should strengthen the confidence that usage of atomic technologies is the right path for sustainable development. "Nuclear power and technologies have great impact on national development and are capable to make a significant contribution to emission reduction of greenhouse gases, as it was noted during the last COP conference in Paris" – Mr. Mahjoub said.
In this regard Sergey Baranovsky noted that today the problem of global warming and the climate change is particularly acute, and for the solution of these issues the usage of nuclear power is one of the most important sources of the environmentally friendly electric power. "We discuss it with everyone, and in all countries, including Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco. We are open for discussions, and we are ready to share our experience and expertise. It is very important that all this is very transparent and is available to the public, it is important that media are present at an event as the population shall know more about use of atomic technologies,” – the President of the Russian Green Cross stressed.
During the discussion, it was noted that close cooperation of the Russian Federation with the countries of the region in the field of peaceful uses of atomic energy will promote introduction of modern technologies and sustainable development of both individual states, and the region in general.
This event showed the unanimity of views of experts in the field of nuclear power that adequate measures should be implemented for fast introduction of advanced nuclear technologies in the region. The Experts emphasized that these technologies are a necessary condition for sustainable, full and progressive social and economic development of the North African states, and the public acceptance is a major factor for their implementation.