Research Reactors:
Safe Management and Effective Utilization

14-18 November 2011, Rabat, Morocco

Proceedings of an International Conference organized by the
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)

held 14-18 November 2011 in Rabat, Morocco

Hosted by the Government of the Kingdom of Morocco through
the National Centre for Energy, Science and Nuclear Techniques (CNESTEN)


Nuclear research and technology’s continuing advance relies upon research reactors (RRs) that are operated safely and reliably, adequately utilized, refurbished when necessary, provided with adequate proliferation-resistant fuel cycle services and safely decommissioned at the end of life. Today, RR operating organizations need to overcome challenges such as the productive use of facilities to justify operation and maintenance costs, management of ageing facilities, the need for increased vigilance to prevent proliferation and the strain of shrinking resources, both financial and human, while fulfilling an expanding role in support of nuclear technology development.
The IAEA has a long history of addressing these challenges through its competence in providing support to improve Member States’ utilization of RRs and leading the development of safety standards and norms. Knowledge sharing is also one of the services the IAEA provides RR operating organizations by disseminating good practices for all aspects of the nuclear fuel cycle and in the planning and implementation of decommissioning. In its programmes, the IAEA promotes continued scientific research and technological development using RRs by highlighting the unique products and services these facilities can offer.
The major networking event for RR users, managers, operators and regulators is the International Conference on Research Reactors organized every four years by the IAEA. From 14 to 18 November 2011, the Conference was held for the first time in Africa, hosted by the Kingdom of Morocco through the National Centre for Energy, Science and Nuclear Techniques (CNESTEN). Following the Conferences held in Portugal in 1999, Chile in 2003, and Australia in 2007, the 2011 Conference was the largest gathering thus far.
The main objectives of this International Conference on “Research Reactors: Safe Management and Effective Utilization” were to facilitate the exchange of information on current and new RRs; provide a forum for RR users, operators, managers, regulators, designers and suppliers to share experience; exchange opinions; and discuss common challenges, options and strategies.
It is hoped that the proceedings of this Conference will serve as a valuable source of information for specialists involved in RR work and for regulatory authorities in the IAEA Member States. These proceedings contain a summary of the conference, the major findings and conclusions resulting from six technical sessions, the opening addresses, the technical papers and presentations.
The IAEA wishes to express its appreciation to all chairpersons of sessions, members of the Technical Programme Committee, and to those who presented the papers and posters for their contributions to the technical success of the Conference, as well as to all of the authors of the papers compiled in these proceedings. Special thanks go to the Government of the Kingdom of Morocco for hosting and co-sponsoring the Conference through CNESTEN for their hospitality, and to the local coordinator A. Boufraqech and his team.

The IAEA Scientific Secretaries responsible for this Conference were:

  • H. Abou Yehia, Division of Nuclear Installation Safety,
  • P. Adelfang, Division of Nuclear Fuel Cycle and Waste Technology, and
  • D. Ridikas, Division of Physical and Chemical Sciences (lead Scientific Secretary).
  • The officers responsible for this publication were Mr D. Ridikas, Division of Physical and Chemical Sciences, and Mr N.D. Peld, Division of Nuclear Fuel Cycle and Waste Technology.