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Algeria dreams of nuclear energy

By Nazim Fethi for Magharebia in Algiers - 10/03/05

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On Saturday (1 October) in Algiers, Minister for Energy and Mining Chakib Khelil said a new law will "set out the development and use of nuclear energy in the various areas of activity".

With the world demand for energy growing and the rise in the price of uranium from $15 a kilo to $80 a kilo in the space of four years, there exists "a situation conducive to starting to consider the development of nuclear energy in Algeria", according to the minister.

Algeria "has reasonable uranium resources and the possibilities of finding more exist", pointed out Khelil. He notes that since the 1970s, Algeria has been known to have the same type of uranium deposits found in Canada, which are geologically exceptional due to composition and tonnage.

Around 30,000 tonnes of uranium, located in four main deposits situated below the Tamanrasset region, are thought to exist in Algeria. According to Khelil, "making the most of these resources within a strictly mining context in a global market dominated by a small number of producers is economically inconceivable".

This development can only take place as "an integrated development of the whole nuclear sector and its principle applications -- such as water desalination, industry, agriculture, medicine and above all, nuclear power generation".

Presently, 16 per cent of electricity produced worldwide is from nuclear sources, though the figure is 70 per cent in some nations. Khelil states that the development of nuclear energy, which will only really start to take effect in ten years to 15 years, must be carried out "in partnership with countries which have experience in this domain".

In his presentation, the director general of the Office for Geological and Mining Resources, M.Mohamed Tahar Bouaroudj indicated that , particularly in the Hoggar and Tindouf regions.

However, no figures exist yet to indicate the level of reserves still to be found. The production and exploitation of uranium are open to all national or foreign operators because current Algerian mining laws do not impose any particular restrictions or recognize the strategic importance of the resource.

Algeria, which has nuclear reactors in Algiers and Ain-Oussera, hopes to use the facilities to develop nuclear energy, particularly for its electricity needs.

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  1. Anonymous thumb

    nabil 2013-2-9

    Moroccans want to be like Algerians but they can't.


  2. Anonymous thumb

    مصحح 2010-11-22

    Just one slip made me doubt the author of the article is not Algerian ! we say Al Hoggar (الهقار) we never say (الهكار). If you want to be Algerian, you must know Algerians first!


  3. Anonymous thumb

    حسن 2010-9-13

    To the author of the fourth comment. You tried to make us believe you are Algerian and concerned about Algeria. However, you didn't know how to write the name of the town Ain Oussera because you read in French and translated it literally.


  4. Anonymous thumb

    amin 2009-11-14

    Frankly, it is strange that our brothers in Algeria, which is a military power and a grand country with an atomic bomb, tell us that we Moroccans should not be afraid. This is why I always say that the problem with the Maghreb is you. I am sorry, but go tell your Bouteflika that I say that Algeria could be better with its border to Morocco being opened. Long live Morocc, the United States, Japan and Israel!


  5. Anonymous thumb

    Sin 2009-8-14

    Hello - It is sad to see the quality of most of the comments posted. Instead of debating the future use of our uranium resource and new technologies, we debate like primitives. Our biggest problem in Algeria is that nearly complete lack of education and literacy. The day we Muslims stop wasting ourselves away, respect one another, stop throwing ourselves about and respect basic laws is the day, as Allah said, we will advance and be proud of ourselves. Instead of posting futile things, we need to think together about the future of our countries and do something so as not to have cold hearts. Thank you. -Sincerely


  6. Anonymous thumb

    عبدو44 2009-2-13

    Algerians and Moroccans are brothers. A Satan cannot separate them. Algeria won’t wage war against Morocco, whatever the conditions, do not worry.


  7. Anonymous thumb

    aziz 2009-2-1

    I just have one thing to say to our Moroccan brothers: Algeria will never make war upon its Moroccan brothers, whatever the problem may be. We are neighbours and brothers and we will never fight.


  8. Anonymous thumb

    عبدو 2009-1-23

    Algeria has the biggest foreign exchange reserve in the Arab world. We can live 40 years without exporting any oil. We wish that all Arab countries have nuclear power. Algeria, God willing, will be a nuclear power and will catch up with Pakistan and Iran. It will terrify its enemies. Salam.


  9. Anonymous thumb

    thammm 2009-1-20

    Algeria is a great country. History will talk to you about it. If you ask about nuclear energy, ask yourselves about incense, Jaoui (a type of incense), drugs, witchcraft, Morocco, fuel you smuggle as to the nuclear energy, these are men’s words, you haven’t reached its level.


  10. Anonymous thumb

    prince des canuts 2009-1-9

    Nuclear power is also a science and there are many research activities going on with this, in particular in the field of medicine and so on and so on. Those who criticize this do not want science’s development.


  11. Anonymous thumb

    RAMADANE 2009-1-7

    Oh Lord make Algeria strong. Oh Lord make us strong with Islam. Make us lead this broken Umma. In 2015, Algeria will become a strong nuclear power which will lead the Islamic Umma to Islamic conquests, God willing in the hands of Mr Bouteflika, amen.


  12. Anonymous thumb

    ali59 2008-10-28

    The IMF has money, but, unlike some other countries, so do we. We will not be ruined by the loss of a little moolah. Stop it, Ben! You make me laugh! Algeria developed way quickly while the West was **** the rest of the world. We built up our security. The entire world thought that Algeria would never make it back up on top, but the proof that you all were mistaken is that we caught up to you and, in the next few years, we will pass you by, no longer needing the West. Indeed, the wheel keeps on turning.


  13. Anonymous thumb

    البارا عريف1 2008-10-25

    thank you dear brothers for your participation. Concerning Algeria, it will remain the country of a million and half martyrs. It destroyed the strongest power in the world in the centuries 20 and 21. Israel tried to sow strife between the Algerian people and stir civilian war. However, Algeria came out more strongly and with more experienced in gang wars. It is now developing its military institutions especially war technology to face any enemy. Long live Algeria free and independent. Triumph to our faithful martyrs. Long live Algerians free and proud.


  14. Anonymous thumb

    BEN 2008-10-18

    To Ali- Do not go rejoicing too much: the barrel of oil has fallen below $70! Pretty soon the IMF will be stepping in to settle your nuclear bills.


  15. Anonymous thumb

    تتت 2008-10-17

    Hahaha. Morocco lives in poverty, witchcraft and primitive mud houses, hahaha, and you talk about your Algerian masters. Shut up idiots! The name Algeria doesn’t deserve to be spelled by your tongs because it is dearer than you. Algeria is progressing and developing the nuclear. As regards Morocco, what is it doing? It is ploughing potatoes and bowing to others than to God. They kiss the hands of the womanish. Check at the witches about the volumes of incense and jaoui and drugs, drugs killed you. You live on the Algerian oil and smuggling. I just want to ask a question, why have you asked for borders to be opened?


  16. Anonymous thumb

    ali59 2008-10-16

    Frankly, Ben, you must be one of the Zionists. Stop thinking that the whites are the masters of the world; God created us all in his image and we are all capable of coming up with something new. Algeria has nuclear power and it has mastered it better than the Europeans. That is why the Westerners are worried: “How did they do this so quickly???” Algeria is not a terrorist country; we are fighting them. Do not forget that civilisation and science descended from the Qu’ran. The people’s security comes before their hunger. Long live the generals! Long live Bouteflika! Long live Algeria in peace! God is great! May peace be in this world and in the afterlife!


  17. Anonymous thumb

    BEN 2008-9-25

    Having read comments on nuclear energy and how it can become a source of nuclear weapons, Morocco needs to ask itself about its own security. You never know! Master the language before you master an energy resource that requires society to at least be reconciled with itself and others—for example: the closed border—and have a minimum of stability. Algeria is running headlong into this and taking its neighbours with it. For the time being, we need to be vigilant: it would be better for Algeria to stick to the donkey-drawn cart, which is the best guarantee for all, than for it to yank the Devil by his tail! We have made ourselves an example to the world, perhaps twice over, and that should be enough.


  18. Anonymous thumb

    oranais31 2008-9-24

    What!? Algeria is dreaming of nuclear energy!? Hahaha! We have had three nuclear power stations since 1994! You always misspeak when you have nothing to say! Jealousy gets the weak moaning for sure.


  19. Anonymous thumb

    عبد الرؤؤف 2008-9-11

    Algeria will succeed in developing nuclear weapons unlike other underdeveloped countries which are weeping to supply bread for their nations and believe in magic and witchcraft. Algeria is the second economic giant in Africa. It is the first country in the world which is experiencing a quick progress. It is on the point of surpassing the world.


  20. Anonymous thumb

    SAIDANI 2008-8-5

    If Israel has nuclear arms, then Algeria has the right to have nuclear arms. It is only logical.


  21. Anonymous thumb

    descanuts 2008-7-10

    It is strange that the articles in the Moroccan press are exactly the same as those in the Israeli press. Whenever Algeria does anything, it is supposed to be against Morocco. Our satellite is supposed to be for spying on the Moroccan peasants, our nuclear power plant is supposed to be to nuke the Moroccan peasants, our arms are supposed to be to devastate the dear Moroccan peasants, but, when the USA delivers 30 billion arms to their base in Israel, not a word is said. Either the Moroccan peasants are paranoid, suffering from acute paranoia, or they are Israeli Zionists, just like King Azoulay, who rules Morocco with an iron fist so as to turn it into an uneducated country, where, just as if it were a colony, poverty belongs to the indigenous peoples and the wealth to the Zionists. It is time for Morocco to develop, to open up and to participate in projects with its Algerian neighbour. Before doing this, Morocco needs to become independent and stop mimicking the Zionist enemies, who are dividing and conquering. As for the sceptics, it suffices to visit Morocco to become aware of all this. When Morocco gets some balls, it will have its independence and become a rich country. Zionist has been defined as a racist, fascist and segregationist. I do not understand why Morocco adheres to this ideology. If Morocco were to at least exploit the wealth of the Western Sahara, then they would not have foreign group down there that are even doing the fishing. History will remember this shameful chapter as the Zionist period of Morocco. Meanwhile, the Zionist are always the strongest, so be careful of falling back into the flames.


  22. Anonymous thumb

    yassine 2008-6-13

    Hi Everybody, What a debate this is about Algeria! People are finally living in houses… well, perhaps that is too big of a word, more like living in wretched shacks without any furniture like tramps. Many Algerians go hungry. Half of them— even more when it comes to the young people— are unemployed and the government does nothing but buy, buy, buy instead of educating the people. This is a shame. It is not with a space programme costing hundreds of millions of dollars that the people will live more happily. They want to fill their hunger so that they can work. Moreover, Algeria and all the Arab countries are more than a hundred years behind the developed countries, yet you are talking about nuclear bombs! LOL! The need to be able to produce basic commodities in order to support the needs of their populations, then we can talk about technological development. But, with empty stomachs and the cruel lack of education, the country will never go any further than the developed countries allow them to! Shame on you! Alas, all the Algerians are making a break for France and once they get they, they are screwed over. This is shameful! We are better than the French. Why go to France? Are we not capable of producing, manufacturing and inventing things ourselves? Long live the day when the Islamic nations come to see the light! Long live Algeria! Long live freedom! And, never forget that Allah sees everything!


  23. Anonymous thumb

    الصقر العربي 2008-6-12

    By God, we have the right to own all forms of energy especially nuclear energy because it is the future. Those who say such rubbish are backwards and far away. My brother, do they have four hands and one opinion like us? This means that anything is possible. May God guide us for the good, with the will of God.


  24. Anonymous thumb

    azouz 2008-4-25

    And, afterwards, if Algeria becomes a nuclear power, whom will this serve?... always the same people! And, let me tell you that Morocco is a brotherly country. Do not let yourself fall into their gossiping. They stigmatize you with their national pride when it helps them out. In any case, if there is no foreign aid, they will never manage this.


  25. Anonymous thumb

    ali ali 2008-3-9

    The Arab nuclear power is: Iraq, Algeria, Egypt. Long live Arabs, victory to Islam.


  26. Anonymous thumb

    ROUG 2008-3-1

    Before dreaming about nuclear power, we should be dreaming of how to end the people’s misery.


  27. Anonymous thumb

    souaidia 2008-2-28

    This is a great idea as it is so precious to us! I have said before that our economic power needs to be developed and as soon as possible. To be continued…


  28. Anonymous thumb

    war-acle 2008-2-25

    It is both disgusting and revolting to read such immature reactions to such a serious issue as the future of our planet (hasha abdel). Throughout the entire world the question of protecting our natural habitat is a priority. We should be looking for new clean-energy resources such as solar, hydro and geothermal energies, examples of which are just waiting to be exploited. Seriously, nuclear power, even in its most civil form, does not indicate progress; quite the contrary in fact. Our country’s development should not come at the expense of our children's future.


  29. Anonymous thumb

    Boudjada S 2008-2-21

    If we could employ nuclear power towards military ends, then we would become not only a recognised Mediterranean power, but also an uncontested world power.


  30. Anonymous thumb

    Tawfik 2008-1-10

    This website is great.


  31. Anonymous thumb

    FARID ALG 2008-1-7

    Long live Bouteflika! May God protect him because of the wonderful work he has done for this country, our patrimony. God willing, Algeria will be a great nuclear power soon. In any case, no country can take control of us.


  32. Anonymous thumb

    mhibla 2007-12-29

    It is a bit late for Algeria’s nuclear energy.


  33. Anonymous thumb

    Abdel 2007-12-5

    Poor Algeria… or, rather, the poor Algerian people! While in the West they are struggling to replace nuclear energy with other natural energy, in Algeria they go and dream of nuclear energy!!! In a country where the weather is nice eight months out of twelve, no one is thinking about solar energy. Moreover, only Algerian gas reserves that can permit the country energy independence for decades to come, but Algeria prefers to sell its gas and buy nuclear technology, which is dangerous for the natural and human environment, at the price of gold.


  34. Anonymous thumb

    AMIR 2007-9-18

    Dream, Algerian people, for peace.


  35. Anonymous thumb

    asfrou 2007-9-5

    Poor Algeria, or, rather, the poor Algerian people. The have not caught any luck and they are doing nothing to catch it. It seems, the government’s money is for the vultures and the misery is for the people. What injustice! I agree: they are by no means on the path to development. Rather, what they are doing is taking steps backwards. My poor country is sick!


  36. Anonymous thumb

    وليد الجزائر 2007-6-4

    Nuclear energy and exaggeration in rights is a prejudice. Doesn't Algeria have the right to take advantage of nuclear energy in the presence of recurrent cold war? Shouldn't we protect the Islamic nation? We should think before we answer, thanks.


  37. Anonymous thumb

    hb 2007-5-10

    You're joking... We don’t want a bomb but nuclear energy. It is not a secret to say that we want to evolve- it is our right and soon it will be a necessity. We need a partner like the US or Russia. It would be good to realize our potential. I am not worried about our uranium resources: as of yet, we haven’t used that much and a law could be adopted to preserve these deposits. I vow that Algeria is evolving peacefully in a good direction, and aspires to change, thanks to our president.


  38. Anonymous thumb

    RAS 2007-4-11

    You talk of something that passed us by more than 100 years ago. What a revelation...!!!? Am I dreaming or what....!!!!!!!?


  39. Anonymous thumb

    habib 2007-3-11

    The mines sector (gold, uranium) are threatened why do you underestimate [inintelligible] The next generation will have nothing because your laws are dangerous don't be selfish and naive what leaves never comes back and nobody will help us there are deposits we shouldn't exploit even less for [unclear] participation as the prospecting contract You should react


  40. Anonymous thumb

    hb 2007-3-11

    Why is uranuim undervalued no law to protect this resource all of us can benefit from it 30 per cent what a joke


  41. Anonymous thumb

    Achaabiou 2007-1-31

    The reactor of Ain ouassara that’s the biggest trick played by modern algeria. U say to Bush, don’t worry my friend, we’re far from manufacturing a nuclear bomb, we would better improve the national market of potatoes because we keep importing them.


  42. Anonymous thumb

    farid 2007-1-22

    We must stand up and enjoy all what God gave us to be happy, we must work a lot. Inch’Allah


  43. Anonymous thumb

    عادل 2007-1-18

    I have one comment. People of Algeria and the Arab world, please do not divulge your secrets!


  44. Anonymous thumb

    krache 2006-11-27

    I am only 12, but i thank you for publishing such information. Could you publish anything regarding Algerian military spending ? Thanks in advance.


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