(Updated 2009)(*)


1.1 Country overview

Tunisia is a small country of 162 155 km², located at the northernmost part of Africa. It is bordered on the west by Algeria and on the south by the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya (Libya) and the Mediterranean Sea to the northeast and north with a 1300 km of coastline. Despite its small size, Tunisia offers a remarkably diverse natural landscape. The country is divided into three distinct physical regions, the Tell Atlas Mountains and the Dorsale Ridge separated by the fertile valley of the Medjerda River in the north. A wide and barren plateau south of the Dorsale Ridge with the western half of the plateau called the High Steppe and the eastern half the Low Steppe. The southern flat coastal plains and salt lakes, and beyond to the vast Sahara Desert region cover forty percent of the total area. The principal river is the Medjerda River which flows to the Gulf of Tunis from Algeria.

Figure: Map of Tunisia

Source: UN Statistics Division

1.1.1 Governmental System

Tunisia is a republic, presidential, multi-party system, where executive power is exercised by the government. The President is elected to 5-year terms and elections are planned for October 2009. The President appoints a Prime Minister and cabinet, who play a strong role in the execution of policy. The President is both head of state and head of government

Legislative power is characterized by bicameral parliamentary system, the Chamber of Deputies and the Chamber of Advisors. Members serves respectively 5 and 6 years terms.

The judiciary is independent. The military is professional and does not play a role in politics.

1.1.2 Geography and Climate

Tunisia has a temperate Mediterranean climate characterized by warm dry summers and wet winters influenced by sea breezes. The inland regions experience hotter summers and more rainfall while there are two distinct seasons, a cool wet season from October to May and a warm dry season from May to September. Average annual precipitation varies from 420 mm in the north to more than 900 mm in the Tell Atlas Mountains while the southern desert region receives less than 350 mm annually. Average temperature ranges in Tunis are from 6 to 14 degrees Celsius in January to 21 to 33 degrees Celsius in August.

1.1.3 Population

Tunisia made a forceful commitment to demographic change earlier than most other developing countries. As a result, Tunisia's fertility rate declined from a high of more than seven children per woman in 1960 to two children currently. The country's population growth rate has likewise dropped from 2.6 percent in the late 1970s to about 1 percent at the beginning of this century( 2008 figures). General health has improved as well, with life expectancies climbing from less than 50 years in the 1950s and early 1960s to above 70 years today. Population growth in Tunisia is projected to be the lowest rate among the Arab countries, due to having both the lowest fertility rate and the oldest age pyramid. Population Projection estimate are 11.210 million by 2019 and 11.763 million by 2029.

The population of Tunisia is approximately 10.4 million inhabitants and is over 65% urban as shown in Table 1.


Average annual growth rate (%)
Year 1970 1980 1990 2000 2005 2008 2000 to 2008
Population (millions) 5.1 6.4 8.2 9.6 10 10.3 0.97
Population density (inhabitants/km²) 31.6 39.4 50.3 59 61.8 63.7 0.97
Urban Population as % of total 44.5 51.5 59.6 62.6 65.2 65.8 0.40
Area (1000 km²) 162.155

Source: National Statistics Institute (INS : www.ins.nat.tn)

1.1.4 Economic Data

Tunisia has limited mineral raw materials. This factor mainly determines the economic structure of the republic. The manufacturing sector has a prevailing share (19,2 % in 2007) in GDP despite a very little heavy industry. Table 2 shows the historical information of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), GDP per capita and their growth rates.


Average annual growth rate (%)
1970 1980 1990 2000 2005 2007 2000 to 2007
GDP (millions of current US$) 1446 8486 12385 19430 29082 37077 9.7
GDP (millions of constant 1990 US$) 4338 8831 12385 19678 24472 27457 4.9
GDP per capita (PPP* US$/capita) (1) - 1710 2872 4768 6460 7534 6.8
GDP per capita (current US$/capita) 282 1328 1519 2032 2900 3626 8.6

* PPP: Purchasing Power Parity

Source: National Statistics Institute (INS : www.ins.nat.tn) (1) World Bank

1.2 Energy Information

1.2.1 Estimated available energy

Proven natural gas and petroleum reserves are limited. Tunisia has moderate uranium resources mainly in phosphate mineral. The main sources of energy used in Tunisia, are mainly oil products and natural gas. Few rivers could be exploited for hydroelectricity production. But despite these limitations water resources have been fully used in Tunisia. Wind resource for electricity supply is also available and is currently being exploited with an increasing share. To meet its energy requirements, Tunisia has to import gas and oil products.

The energy reserves are shown in Table 3. Energy statistics are summarized in Table 4.


Estimated available energy sources
Fossil Fuels Nuclear Renewables
Solid Liquid Gas Uranium Hydro Other
Total amount in specific units* - 3.579 3.275 14.000 0.6 0.2
Total amount in Exajoule (EJ)

* Solid, Liquid: Million tons; Gas: Billion m3; Uranium: Metric tons; Hydro, Renewable: GW

Source: ANME, GCT, APEX Conseil

1.2.2 Energy Statistics


Average annual growth rate (%)
1980 1990 2000 2005 2007 2000 to 2007
Energy consumption**
- Total 0.1174 0.1814 0.2738 0.3042 0.3213 +2.3
- Solids*** 0.0037 0.0029 0.0034 0.0038 0.0089 +14.5
- Liquids 0.0972 0.1286 0.1610 0.1641 0.1669 +0.5
- Gases 0.0164 0.0497 0.1091 0.1357 0.1452 +4.2
- Nuclear 0.0000 0.0000 0.0000 0.0000 0.0000
- Hydro 0.0001 0.0002 0.0002 0.0005 0.0002 -3.8
- Other Renewables 0.0000 0.0000 0.0001 0.0002 0.0002 +9.2
Energy production
- Total 0.2586 0.2261 0.2801 0.2827 0.3158 +1.7
- Solids*** 0.0000 0.0000 0.0000 0.0000 0.0000
- Liquids 0.2416 0.1931 0.1566 0.1457 0.1953 +3.2
- Gases 0.0169 0.0328 0.1232 0.1363 0.1202 -0.3
- Nuclear 0.0000 0.0000 0.0000 0.0000 0.0000
- Hydro 0.0001 0.0129 0.0002 0.0005 0.0002 -3.8
- Other Renewables 0.0000 0.0000 0.0001 0.0002 0.0002 +9.2
Net import (Import - Export)
- Total -0.1260 -0.0408 0.0007 0.0254 0.0218 +64.4

* Latest available data

** Energy consumption = Primary energy consumption + Net import (Import - Export) of secondary energy.

*** Solid fuels include coal, lignite

Source: Tunisian National Observatory of Energy

1.2.3 Energy policy

Despite limited hydrocarbon resources, Tunisia has enjoyed a favourable energy situation characterized by a largely surplus energy balance until the middle of the Eighties. Thus, the energy sector played during this period a key role in financing the economic growth of the country, representing in 1980 approximately 13 % of the national GDP and 16 % of the national exports. The contribution of the energy sector in the economic growth has been decreasing since 1986. Currently, the energy sector accounts for approximately 5 % of the GDP of the country and less than 7 % of the total national exports. Since the end of the Eighties, the favourable situation started to deteriorate due to the joint effect of two major factors which are:

The stagnation of the national hydrocarbon resources,

The sharp increase of energy demand, notably electricity, as induced by economic and social growth.

Thus, the energy balance moved from a surplus situation of approximately 3 Mtoe in the beginning of the Eighties to a slightly deficit situation starting early year 2000. In order to address this deficit, the Tunisian authorities have engaged an energy policy that is compatible with sustainable development. The main components are:

Intensification and reinforcement of the efforts made for the development of the country's hydrocarbon resources including an extension of exploration activities (the Hydrocarbons Code). That allowed the discovery and exploitation of new reserves allowing the compensation of the old layer's decline;

Ensuring energy supply at lower cost in order to facilitate access to energy by the whole population;

Stepping up electricity production, including network rehabilitation and extension, energy use management and promotion of renewable energies;

The continuation of rural electrification which is also amongst Tunisia's priorities.

As a result of governmental policies during the three decades of 1980's, 90's and 00's the electricity sector has been characterized by:

Diversification of energy source technologies; The utilization of gas and solar resources and the development of wind energy; reduced the share of oil fuels to 52% of the total in 2007 compared to 82% in 1980.

Increase of the total installed capacity that was fulfilled mainly through the erection of new combined cycle gas turbine plants.

Reduction of consumption of oil in thermal power stations even though power generated by thermal stations has increased fivefold - as a result of intensive use of natural gas.

The concerns related to improving the energy balance has also led the public authorities to set in October 2000 a National Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energies Commission whose missions included in particular the drawing up of a national programme aimed at rationalising energy consumption and promoting renewable energies. This programme comprises two types of actions: a set of priority actions to be undertaken on the very short term, and a set of actions to be undertaken under a medium term programme.

A short-term programme relying on some twenty presidential decisions was announced in May 2001, which attests to the government's determination to engage fully in favour of a rational use of energy and of the development of renewable energies. These decisions have related to:

Enhancing awareness raising and information;

Setting out the appropriate legal framework to encourage the private sector to invest in the field of energy efficiency;

Involving the public sector in making profitable use of the energy efficiency potential;

Mobilising the financial resources necessary to the development of the sector;

Building local capacities and providing support to research and development programmes.

As for medium term programme, its objectives include in particular: large-scale dissemination of solar water heaters, optimisation of rural electrification based on photovoltaic systems and development of wind energy for electric power generation.

Despite all these efforts, Oil and natural gas are the most important source of energy covering more than 95% of the total energy supply. Oil products are mostly utilized for transport and industry and as heavy fuel in thermal power plants. Imported Gas comes mainly as royalties from the 370 km long section of the TransMed gas pipeline, which ensures the Algerian gas delivery to Italy. The quota of Tunisia will be increased from 6 to 7 billion m3/year by 2010.

To ensure a consistent and sustainable energy policy, Tunisia undertook a preliminary strategic study on the development of renewable energies. According to this study, which was completed in April 2004, Tunisia has a considerable potential of renewable sources of energy especially wind. As a southern Mediterranean country, Tunisia has a good solar potential and biomass one. It led to drawing up an Action Plan for developing the whole range of sectors at horizon 2011, as well as setting out strategic options for each sector for the three coming decades.

The wind energy sector, though still presenting a cost overrun with respect to conventional power plants, seems to be today as the closest solution to economic competitiveness for power production. Indeed the Onshore wind potential in Tunisia is estimated, referring to preliminary studies, to 1000 MW with an average producible energy of about 3 MWh per year and by kW installed. Tunisia’s wind power energy objectives aim at increasing the total electricity production from 20 to 175 MW by 2010, thus amounting to some 4,2% of the electricity production in the country. The government plans also to install by 2011, 740 000 m2 of solar captor for domestic use.

In Tunisia, the energy consumption per capita is around 0.75 toe/capita and the country’s total energy consumption shows a steady increase of 5%/year, as shown in Table 5.

Aware of the importance of global environmental issues, Tunisia took part in a number of international agreements in the fields of: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands. On the ground, the government continues to plan and implement a number of national programs to meet the challenges of sustainable development.

1.3 The electricity system

1.3.1 Electricity policy and decision making process

After its independence, Tunisia established a state-owned energy company, (STEG) and defined energy plans to fully integrate electricity within the global energy system. The electricity access expanded significantly from 1970 when it covered 54% of the population to today's 96% of the population. An interconnected electrical grid system now supplies 99% of the country's requirements. Local energy resources are being utilized, particularly renewable sources, thus diversifying the mix of primary energy sources.

Tunisia has started to open up electric power production to the private sector by virtue of Law N° 96-27, dated April 1st 1996, which authorises the State to grant electricity production licences to independent producers with a view to its exclusive sale to STEG. The conditions and modes of granting the licence are stipulated in Decree n° 96-1125, dated 20 June 1996. Tunisia has thus undertaken, first of all, to adapt the legal and institutional framework to this option. Then it entered into force with the construction of the IPP type plants (Independent Power Production) of Rades and of El Bibane. As a result, an average annual growth in the total electricity generation increased by around 5 % in the period 1990-2007.

A special attention was also paid by the Tunisian Government in restructuring the Electricity sector. Measures for improvement of metering, billing and collection of payments for electricity and natural gas were also implemented.

Owing to a highly integrated interconnected system, the electrification index is 99.4% in urban areas and above 95% at the national level. These improvements allowed Tunisia to initiate both electric energy and expertise exports to other countries.

1.3.2 Structure of electric power sector

Tunisia has provided, since the early 1980s, an appropriate institutional framework for the administration of the sector. As regards public institutions, the major actors are:

  1. The Ministry of industry, energy and small and medium enterprises which is responsible for the sustainable electric energy supply to the consumers. It also undertakes the implementation of the country's energy policy. Two dedicated agencies, the National Agency for Energy Efficiency (ANME) and the Tunisian National Observatory of Energy (ONE), have been set up to supervise the implementation of the government’s energy policy.

  2. The Tunisian Electricity and Gas Company (STEG) which has monopoly on the transport, transmission and distribution of electricity and which is, therefore, the sole buyer of this energy. It is also the main producer;

  3. The Ministry of Environment, together with several institutions that are under its authority, such as the National Environment Protection Agency (ANPE) and the Tunis International Centre for Environmental Technologies (CITET), which address the environmental aspects of the national electricity policy;

  4. The Ministry of Higher Education, Scientific Research and Technology whose missions cover the research & development related aspects in this field, via several institutions, of which the National Centre for Energy Research (NCER) the National Centre for Nuclear Science and Technology (CNSTN) and various schools of engineers;

  5. The Ministry of Equipment, Housing and land Use Planning;

  6. The Ministry of Communication Technologies.

In addition to STEG, several independent minor companies generate electricity.

The electricity transmission network and capacity of Tunisia are considered sufficient for the current and forecasted loads. The high-voltage transmission network has the interconnections with the two neighbouring countries Algeria and Libya. Tunisia and Algeria agreed to increase the electric power interconnection capacity up to 400 KV as from 2010, against 220 KV currently. An interconnection with Italy (Cecelia) is also planned.

1.3.3 Main indicators

In 2009, the total STEG installed capacity of the generating stations in Tunisia is 3 050 MW. Table 8 shows the historical statistics of the electricity production, the electrical energy balance and the annual electrical energy consumption per capita.


Average annual growth rate (%)
1970 1980 1990 2000 2005 2007 2000 to 2007
Capacity of electrical plants (MW)
- Thermal 832 1265 2313 3170 3232 +4.9
- Hydro 28 64 61.2 62 62 +0.2
- Nuclear 0 0 0 0 0
- Wind 0 0 10.6 19 19 +8.7
- Geothermal 0 0 0 0 0
- other renewable 0 0 0 0 0
- Total 861 1329 2385 3251 3313 +4.8
Electricity production (GW.h)
- Thermal 2406 4854 10008 12857 13054 +3.9
- Hydro 23.5 43.6 64.4 145.2 49 -3.8
- Nuclear 0 0 0 0 0
- Wind 0 0 23.1 42.4 43 +9.3
- Geothermal 0 0 0 0 0
- other renewable 0 0 0 0 0
- Total (1) 2430 4898 10095 13044 13146 +3.8
Total Electricity consumption (GW.h) 2250 4400 8979 11244 12071 +4.3

(1) Electricity transmission losses are not deducted.

* Latest available data

Source: Tunisian National Observatory of Energy


1970 1980 1990 2000 2005 2007
Energy consumption per capita (ktep/ capita) 0.439 0.537 0.684 0.725 0.748
Electricity consumption per capita (GW.h/capita) 0.352 0.545 0.939 1.121 1.177
Electricity production/Energy production (%) 3.4 7.7 12.9 16.4 14.9
Nuclear/Total electricity (%) 0 0 0 0 0
Ratio of external dependency (%) (1) 0 0 0.3 8.8 8.7

(1) Net import / Total energy consumption.

* Latest available data

Source: Tunisian Company of Electricity and Gas (STEG : www.steg.com.tn)


2.1 Historical development and current organizational structure

2.1.1 Overview

On November 03, 2006, His Excellency the President of the Republic commanded the Tunisian Company of Electricity and Gas (STEG) to conduct, in collaboration with the Ministry of Higher Education, Scientific Research and Technology, a techno-economic feasibility studies for NPP (Nuclear Power Plant) implementation. This occurred in an energy context marked by the dwindling production at Tunisia's oil fields and the surge in hydrocarbon prices that make country spending heavily on energy imports to power its electricity network. This decision comes in favour of further research and development of country’s nuclear option in order to reduce the reliance on oil and gas.

Various studies for the introduction of nuclear power in the electricity supply system were conducted since 1982. The last one was carried by CNSTN in collaboration with STEG and SONED (National Water Distribution Utility), and with the assistance of the French CEA, and supervision of IAEA from 2000 to 2004. The aim of this study was the investigation of the economic feasibility of an NPP implementation for electricity generation and water desalination. Various technologies were considered including 2nd , 3rd and 4th generation NPP models. The study showed that taking into account the local condition in Tunisia, the nuclear option was competitive for the price of several energies among which a barrel of crude oil higher than 38 $.

Also, a feasibility study for the implementation of a research reactor at CNSTN on the site of Sidi-Thabet was carried in collaboration with FRAMATOME and CEA. The study dealt with the implementation of a TRIGA MARK II research reactor and the associated labs. CNSTN an STEG agreed that the implementation of a research reactor is a cornerstone of the human resource development program to be put in place for NPP project.

2.1.2 Current organizational chart(s)

  1. Ministry of Industry, Energy and Small and Medium Enterprises: responsible for devising and implementing government policy in various areas among them energy and mining. To this end, the Ministry Addresses all subjects related to the implementation of government policy on these sectors. The ministry is directly concerned and has a key role in the implementation of the nuclear power programme.

  2. Ministry of Higher Education, Scientific Research and Technology: is in charge of establishing the legislative and regulatory framework for nuclear activities in the context of a nuclear power program. The ministry is also in charge of the development of the human resource, especially in the nuclear field by developing a training and education program able to provide qualified manpower for a nuclear power program.

National Atomic Energy Commission (CENA) : headed by the Minister of Higher Education, Scientific Research and Technology and composed by members from different ministries and national institutions. It was created in 1990 and works on the elaboration and implementation of national programs promoting peaceful uses of nuclear energy and identification of future priorities and orientation. The CNEA is acting as NEPIO in the context of the NPP project. It is assigned for the following tasks:

To develop, promote and implement nuclear technologies, methods and instruments in the country in different fields of agriculture, industry, power energy, ecology and medicine;

To advise the Executive Power in the definition of nuclear policy and the adoption of international treaties and agreements related to the nuclear field;

To promote the education of highly specialised human resources and the nuclear science and technology development;

To implement basic and applied research programs in sciences related to nuclear technology;

To follow the technical cooperation programs specially with the IAEA.

The National Centre for Nuclear Science and Technology (CNSTN) assures the Permanent Secretary of this commission.

  1. Tunisian Company of Electricity and Gas (STEG) : as a public company, has the essential role of electricity and LPG production. It is also responsible for transmission and the distribution of electricity and natural gas. The STEG was tasked by the government to conduct feasibility study of the nuclear power programme and expected to play the role as the operator of the Tunisia’s first nuclear power plant.

  2. National Centre for Nuclear Science and Technology (CNSTN) : is a governmental institution created by the law n°93-115 dated on 22 November 1993. It is in charge of carrying out studies and research work in various peaceful uses of nuclear energy and techniques in different sectors. CNSTN is directly involved in the feasibility study and maintain a solid cooperation with the STEG and other concerned departments for these purposes and acts for the government as a centre of expertise in the nuclear field by providing advices.

  3. National Centre for Radiation Protection (CNRP) : established in 1981, acts as regulatory authority at the national level for all what concerns use of radioactive sources in the context of radiation protection, except nuclear installations. According to its attributions, CNRP is not legally able to act as a Nuclear Regulatory Authority. A new Nuclear Safety Agency will be created to carry out these regulatory functions in connection with the NPP project.

  4. Ministry of the Environment and Sustainable Development: and its relevant agencies will be involved on matters related to environment al protection, especially the radioactive waste management.

  5. Ministry of the Interior and Local Development: will be involved in matters related to the physical protection, nuclear security, preparedness process and intervention in case of radiological emergency.

  6. The ministry of Transport : will be involved in matters related on the transport of radioactive materials, atmospheric and seismic relevant studies on selected sites.

2.2 Nuclear power plants: Overview

2.2.1 Status and performance of nuclear power plants

Not applicable.

2.2.2 Plant upgrading, plant life management and license renewals

Not applicable.

2.3 Future development of Nuclear Power

2.3.1 Nuclear power development strategy

The implementation of a first NPP has been planned in four phases:

  1. Phase 1: Undertaking of sitting activities and the techno-economic feasibility studies necessary for the government decision (2008 - 2011),

  2. Phase 2: Launching the Call for Tender, bid evaluation and contract award (2012 - 2015),

  3. Phase 3: Construction and Commissioning of the NPP (2016 - 2023),

  4. Phase 4: Operation of the NPP (2024 - 2084).

The STEG has undertaken the preparation of a strategic action plan, addressing the 19 issues of the IAEA Milestones Guideline (NG-G 3.1). This plan has been reviewed and validated by IAEA experts on April 2009 for Phase 1. Undertaking of the feasibility studies for the implementation of the NPP is crucial and involves many topics which relate to energy planning, economic and financial studies, the integration of the NPP into the national and regional electric grid, the assurance quality program and the development of human resources. These aspects will be carried out in two separated lots. The first lot deals with the actions requiring technical assistance, to benefit from the experience of countries that have already adopted the nuclear technology. The second lot concerns the actions that require the services of the specialized Engineering consulting firms. The studies related to technologies of reactors, fuel cycle and radioactive waste management will be entrusted to an international specialized engineering firm by the end of 2010. Regarding the local industrial involvement, the STEG has awarded two Contracts in 2009 to national specialized Organisations in order to assess the local industrial capabilities.

In parallel with technical activities of the Phase 1, the legal and institutional framework is under preparation by a legal group involving national institutions and working under the auspices of the National Atomic Energy Commission (NAEC). The target of this group in particular is the ratification of international laws on the peaceful use of the nuclear energy and its applications, the establishment of the National Nuclear Energy Agency (NNEA) and the National Nuclear Safety Agency (NNSA) by the end of 2010.


Station/Project Name Type Capacity Expected Construction Start Year Expected Commercial Year
To be defined - 700-1000 2016 2023
To be defined - 700-1000 2024 2030

2.3.2 Project management

A Task Force headed by the Ministry of industry, energy and small and medium enterprises, was conferred the supervision of the project. STEG, CNSTN and other relevant organisations and administrations are member of this task force. Also a working group set up by the CNEA was charged with elaborating the legal and institutional framework of the project. Also STEG created a project team to conduct the studies and field operations.

2.3.3 Project funding

Not applicable.

2.3.4 Electric grid development

This is expected to be considered under the ongoing activities of Phase 1and STEG has undertaken some feasibility studies, which estimated that the grid size will double by 2020.

2.3.5 Site Selection

Under the Phase 1 of NPP two candidate sites have been selected and approved by authorities among about one hundred initially identified. The geological, geotechnical and geophysical investigations, seismic hazard evaluation, meteorological and oceanographic studies, risk of floods evaluation, dispersion of radioactive materials and induced human activities assessment of these two sites are planned for 2009-2010. These studies will be carried out by national specialized organisations and engineering firms, with foreign assistance.

2.4 Organizations involved in construction of NPPs

Not applicable.

2.6 Organizations involved in decommissioning of NPPs

Not applicable.

2.7 Fuel cycle including waste management

Not applicable.

2.8 Research and development

2.8.1 R&D organizations

The CNSTN is tasked by the government to conduct the R&D works in this field. It has to master, develop and use these technologies for economic and social purposes, particularly in energy, agricultural, industrial, environmental and medical applications. Its main activities are:

  1. conducting theoretical and practical research studies and projects in the peaceful applications of nuclear sciences and technologies;

  2. providing training and services to educational institutions, public and private companies including training;

  3. implementing nuclear safety techniques and good radiation protection practices, and safeguarding the environment while running its installations;

  4. supporting all activities contributing to the development of nuclear sciences and the promotion of its different peaceful applications;

2.8.2 Development of advanced nuclear technologies

Not applicable.

2.8.3 International co-operation and initiatives

Tunisia and France signed a cooperative agreement on the peaceful use of nuclear energy. Under the accord, the two countries will conduct cooperation on the peaceful use of nuclear technology in areas of environmental protection, desalination of seawater, health and power generation.

Tunisia has also bilateral agreements with institutes from South Africa and Canada.

2.9 Human resources development

Aware of the need to establish a strategy to sustain and enhance nuclear science and technology activities in the country, CNSTN initiated in 2001 a Sandwich Fellowship program in collaboration with the French institute INSTN. The program aimed to train 10 students per year in nuclear engineering. Unfortunately the lack of appropriate funds caused the collapse of the programme. Since 2008 STEG restarted the program relaying on its proper financing. A human resource development plan is being undertaken by a working group led by CNSTN, integrating the assessment of skills and competences needed throughout the project life of the planned NPP. This plan shows the strategy to timely fill the need of skills for each phase of the project, including the training and the foreign assistance program.

On the other hand the Ministry of Higher Education, Scientific Research and Technology set up a committee with the mandate to device a national human resources development program leading to higher Degrees (Technicians, engineers, PhD). The program is expected to start gradually since 2010.

2.10 Stakeholder Communication

Not applicable.


3.1 Regulatory framework

3.1.1 Regulatory authority(s)

According to law No. 81-100 and decree No. 82-1389 related to the creation and organization of the National Centre for Radioprotection (CNRP), CNRP has been acting since 1981 as a regulatory authority for radiation applications. In connection with the NPP project, it has been decided to establish a new regulatory body called National Nuclear Safety Agency (ANSN) which may carry out regulatory functions for safety, security, safeguards, radiation protection, physical protection, radioactive material transport, and radioactive waste management. It has also been decided that ANSN will be established with such regulatory functions for nuclear installations and radioactive sources. It will be an independent authority that should report only to the prime minister. Once created, ANSN will:

  1. Authorise all nuclear activities

  2. Control and inspect nuclear activities and installations

  3. Enforce the application of relevant legal requirements

  4. Inform the public about safety issues

3.1.2 Licensing Process

The definition of the licensing process for nuclear facilities is being covered by the project of nuclear law on peaceful uses of nuclear activities and its decrees of application. It is expected that the creation of nuclear installation require a decree of the president of the republic proposed by the ANSN after fulfilling all the related legal requirements. It is also expected that the licensing requirements and process to be implemented should be based on the relevant international standards especially those adopted and recommended by the IAEA.

3.2 Main national laws and regulations in nuclear power

1. 32 of the Constitution last paragraph: The treaties ratified by the president of the republic and approved by the Chamber of Deputies have a higher authority than the laws Article

2. Law No. 57-10 of 09/08/1957 related on the ratification of the Statute of the International Agency of Atomic Energy

3. Law No. 70-5 of 03/02/1970 related to the ratification of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons

4. Law No. 71-31 of 28/07/1971 related to the ratification of the treaty prohibiting the placement of nuclear weapons and other Weapons of Mass Destruction on the Seabed and the Ocean Floor and in the subsoil

5. Law n°81-51 of 18 /06/ 1981 related to the radiation protection

  1. Decree No. 86-433 of 28/03/1986 related to the protection against ionizing radiation

6. Law No. 88-67 of 16/06/1988 related to the ratification of the Vienna Convention on Early Notification of a Nuclear Accident

7. Law No. 88-68 of 16/06/1988 related to the ratification of the Vienna Convention on Assistance in Case of a Nuclear Accident or Radiological Emergency

8. Law No. 90-15 of 12/02/1990 related to the ratification of the agreement between the Republic of Tunisia and the International Atomic Energy and on the application of safeguards under the Treaty on the Non - Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons

  1. Decree No. 90-1399, 03/09/1990, establishing a National Atomic Energy Commission as amended by Decree No. 95-2566 of 25/12/1995

9. Law n° 96-41 dated on 10 June 1996, related to the Hazardous Waste control its management and elimination

  1. Decree No. 2000-2339 of 10/10/2000 establishing the list of hazardous waste

  2. Decree No. 2005-1991 of 11/07/2005, relating to the study of impact on the environment

10. Law n° 97-37 dated of 02/06/ 1997 related to the transport by road of hazardous materials

  1. Decree No. 2000-439 of 14/02/2000 establishing the list of dangerous substances which transported by road must be under the control and with the accompaniment of security units

  2. Decree No. 2002-2015 of 04/09/2002 fixing the technical rules related to the equipment and the design of vehicles used in the transport of hazardous materials by road

11. Decree No. 2004-1615 of 12/07/2004 related to the ratification of the Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty



Treaty/Convention Position of TunisiaDate of ratification/
Treaty of non proliferationSigned and ratifiedLaw No. 70-5 of 03/02/1970
Comprehensive safeguard agreementSigned and ratifiedLaw No. 90-15 of 12/02/1990
Additional protocolSigned (ratification in process)2005-05-24
Convention on early notification of nuclear accidentSigned and ratifiedLaw No. 88-67 of 16/06/1988
C. On assistance in the case of a nuclear accidentSigned and ratifiedLaw No. 88-68 of 16/06/1988
Convention on nuclear safetySigned (ratification in process)1994-09-20
Joint convention on the SSFM and on the SRWM(ratification in process)
Convention on physical protection of nuclear material Signed and ratifiedaccession:
Amendment of the CPPNM(ratification in process)
Vienna convention on civil liability for nuclear damageUnder evaluation
Joint protocol relating to the application of the Vienna convention and Paris convention Under evaluation
Protocol to amend 1963 Vienna conventionUnder evaluation
Convention on Supplementary compensation for nuclear damageUnder evaluation
Comprehensive nuclear test ban treatySigned and ratifiedDecree no 2004-1615 of 12/07/2004
IAEA Codes of conduct and practice and guidanceIn process


Institution Contacts

locationInstitution NameFields of Activity
Sidi ThabetCentre National des Sciences et Technologies Nucléaires (CNSTN)
Pôle Technologique, 2020 Sidi-Thabet, TUNISIA
Fax : +216 71 537 555
Phone : +216 71 537 410
E-mail : official@cnstn.rnrt.tn
Web Site: www.cnstn.rntn.tn
Nuclear Research
TunisCentre National de Radioprotection (CNRP)
Hôpital d'Enfants Bab Sâadoun 1006 Tunis, TUNISIA
Fax : +216 71 571 697
Phone : +216 71 577 774
Radiation Protection
TunisSociété Tunisienne de l’Electricité et du Gaz (STEG)
38 rue Kamel Ataturk 1080 Tunis
BP 190, 1080 Tunis cedex, TUNISIA
Fax : +216 71 330 174 - +216 71 349 981
Phone :+216 71 341 311
E-mail : dpsc@steg.com.tn
Web Site: www.steg.com.tn
Electricity and Gas
TunisGroupe Chimique Tunisie (GCT)
7, Rue DU Royaume D'Arabie Saoudite, 1002, Tunis Belvédère , TUNISIA
Fax : +216 71 783 495
Phone : +216 71 784 488
E-mail : gct@gct.com.tn
Web Site: www.gct.com.tn
Phosphate industry
TunisMinistère de l'Enseignement Supérieur, de la Recherche Scientifique et de la Technologie
Avenue Ouled Haffouz - 1030 - Tunis, TUNISIA
Fax : +216 71 786 711
Phone : +216 71 786 300
Web Site: www.mes.tn
Higher education
TunisMinistère de l'Industrie, de l'Energie et des petites et moyennes entreprises
63, rue de Syrie, 1002 Tunis Belvédère, TUNISIA
Fax : +216 71 791 132
Phone : +216 71 782 742
E-mail : api@api.com.tn
web Site: www.industrie.gov.tn
TunisInstitut National de la Statistique (INS)
70, Rue Ech-cham BP 265 CEDEX, TUNISIA
Fax : +216 71 792 559
Phone : +216 71 891 002
E-mail: INS@mdci.gov.tn
Web Site: www.ins.nat.tn

Name of report coordinator


Directeur Général

Centre National des Sciences et Technologies Nucléaires

Pôle Technologique, 2020 Sidi-Thabet, TUNISIA

Tel : +216 71 537 803

Fax: +216 71 537 555

e-mail: adel.trabelsi@cnstn.rnrt.tn

(*) The statistical tables in this profile have been updated with data as of the July 2011 from IAEA databases, namely the Power Reactor Information System (PRIS) and Energy and Economic Data Bank (EEDB), and the World Bank's World Development Indicators (WDI