Morocco has announced plans for two nuclear power plants as part of its submission to the Copenhagen Accord, which was drafted at COP 15 at the end of last year.
Under the terms of the Copenhagen Accord, developing countries were invited to submit proposed Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs) demonstrating how they planned to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions through specified projects. Developed countries were asked to submit proposed targets for greenhouse gas emissions reductions.
The Copenhagen Accord was not unanimously endorsed at COP 15, instead countries were invited to declare their own commitments on a voluntary and non-binding basis.
In the months leading up to COP 15 a small number of countries tried to ban countries from including nuclear and large hydro projects in their NAMA declarations. However, that exclusion was not included in the final Copenhagen Accord and now Morocco's declaration has firmly established nuclear energy projects as part of the NAMA process.
Morocco chooses nuclear
The country's proposal is for two 1000 MWe nuclear power reactors to enter operation between 2020-2030. In combination the two units are expected to avoid the emissions of nearly 15 million tonnes of carbon dioxide (MtCO2) each year, the largest single emissions saving of any of the proposed projects put forward by the Moroccan government.
Both the Russian and French state nuclear industries have courted future business in Morocco, with AtomStroyExport visiting in January 2008 and French President Nicolas Sarkozy following in July that year to complete a nuclear energy cooperation agreement.
Morocco's other NAMA projects include a 2000 MWe solar power plant, saving 3.7 MtCO2 per year and one hundred micro-hydro projects that would save 0.7 MtCO2 annually.
China's NAMA declaration included plans to increase the share of non-fossil fuels in primary energy consumption to around 15% by 2020, a plan that includes a substantial increase in nuclear generation, alongside solar, large hydro and wind power.
In total 55 countries made declarations by the 31 January deadline stated in the Copenhagen Accord. Australia, Canada, Croatia, Japan, Kazakhstan, New Zealand, Norway, Russia, the USA as well as the 27 countries of the EU have all declared emission reduction targets. Other countries, both developed and developing, are expected to make late declarations.
Researched and written
by World Nuclear News