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The CEA and Algeria's COMENA sign a nuclear research agreement

On April 21, 2017, the Algerian Atomic Energy Commission (COMENA) and the CEA signed a partnership agreement giving COMENA access to the CEA's research reactors and their ancillary facilities. This partnership aims to develop collaborative research programs to support Algeria's R&D and training objectives.

Published on 2 May 2017

The CEA's Chairman, Daniel Verwaerde, announced that the CEA's research reactors and other facilities would be made available to teams from COMENA for education, practical training and the joint development of R&D projects. The agreement, signed as part of the ICERR (International Center based on Research Reactors) program, will give researchers from COMENA access to the research reactors and enable them to train and develop their human resources more effectively, and at lower cost.

The ICERR program will also help to make better use of existing research reactors and equipment in the partner country and contribute to the development and deployment of innovative nuclear technologies while fostering cooperation.

In 2015 the CEA was the first research institution in the world to receive ICERR status recognition from the IAEA at the end of a rigorous selection process that included examination of the application and supporting documentation, an audit of the CEA's sites, and an exhaustive assessment and recommendation by an international selection committee of representatives of the global research reactor community and representatives of the IAEA.

The ICERR program is designed to assist IAEA member states by accelerating access to existing research reactor infrastructure to carry out nuclear research and development and scientific capacity-building.
The CEA has already signed several ICERR agreements with research bodies in Morocco, Tunisia and Slovenia in September 2016 and Indonesia in March 2017.

COMENA, the lead body in the development of nuclear energy in Algeria, was set up in 1996 and aims to promote the use of nuclear energy in agriculture, hydraulic engineering, industry, health, planning and public works. COMENA is also responsible for the management and control of radioactive waste.

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