Egypt’s Nuclear Plant Project Continues Despite Virus Restrictions

Grigory Sosnin, the director of the Dabaa nuclear project (Asharq Al-Awsat)
Grigory Sosnin, the director of the Dabaa nuclear project (Asharq Al-Awsat)
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Egypt’s Nuclear Plant Project Continues Despite Virus Restrictions

Grigory Sosnin, the director of the Dabaa nuclear project (Asharq Al-Awsat)
Grigory Sosnin, the director of the Dabaa nuclear project (Asharq Al-Awsat)

The Egyptian nuclear project is underway, despite the restrictions imposed by the outbreak of the novel coronavirus and the Egyptian authorities’ decision to postpone the opening of major projects, including the new capital.

In remarks to Asharq Al-Awsat, Grigory Sosnin, the director of the Dabaa nuclear project, said that the company “has taken a set of strict preventive measures, restricting the access of people who recently came to Egypt to the construction site and relying on video conferences to hold regular meetings with the Nuclear Power Stations Authority in Egypt.”

Russia’s state-owned Rosatom, which specializes in nuclear energy, is working on launching the first nuclear power plant in Egypt, in the city of Dabaa on the shores of the Mediterranean (130 km northwest of Cairo). The plant consists of four nuclear reactors, each with a capacity of 1200 megawatts, with a total capacity of 4,800 megawatts.

Sosnin, who is also the vice president of Atomstroyexport, Rosatom’s subsidiary, said that preparatory work was taking place on-site, as well as in the design of the project.

He noted that if things went according to plan, “the first nuclear reactor will be operational within seven years, after meeting the necessary permits... while the remaining three reactors will be activated consecutively one by one.”

The Russian director did not express concern about the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the planned program, stressing that Rosatom was closely monitoring the developments of the situation related to the virus around the world, especially in the countries in which it operates.

He added that the company “considers the health and safety of its employees a priority.”

In 2015, Egypt and Russia concluded an agreement to cooperate in building the Dabaa nuclear power plant, with a $ 25 billion loan provided by the Russian state.

Construction is underway at the site, in parallel with work to complete the necessary documents to obtain the so-called “nuclear license”, which is granted by the Egyptian Nuclear and Radiological Supervision Authority (ENRRA).



Israeli Strikes Reportedly Target Hezbollah Ammunition Depot in Lebanon

Lebanese army soldiers check the wreckage of a vehicle after an Israeli airstrike targeted the area near the village of Burj al-Muluk, some 18 kms from the town of Nabatiyeh on July 20, 2024.  (Photo by Rabih DAHER / AFP)
Lebanese army soldiers check the wreckage of a vehicle after an Israeli airstrike targeted the area near the village of Burj al-Muluk, some 18 kms from the town of Nabatiyeh on July 20, 2024. (Photo by Rabih DAHER / AFP)
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Israeli Strikes Reportedly Target Hezbollah Ammunition Depot in Lebanon

Lebanese army soldiers check the wreckage of a vehicle after an Israeli airstrike targeted the area near the village of Burj al-Muluk, some 18 kms from the town of Nabatiyeh on July 20, 2024.  (Photo by Rabih DAHER / AFP)
Lebanese army soldiers check the wreckage of a vehicle after an Israeli airstrike targeted the area near the village of Burj al-Muluk, some 18 kms from the town of Nabatiyeh on July 20, 2024. (Photo by Rabih DAHER / AFP)

Israeli strikes late on Saturday targeted a depot storing ammunition belonging to Hezbollah in southern Lebanon, three security sources told Reuters.

The strikes on the town of Adloun, about 40 km north of Lebanon's border with Israel, set off a string of loud explosions heard by witnesses across the south of Lebanon.

At least four civilians in Adloun were wounded in the strikes, a medical source and a security source told Reuters.

Hezbollah said that its fighters fired dozens of rockets into northern Israel on Saturday, targeting a kibbutz for the first time in nine months in retaliation for an Israeli drone strike earlier in the day that wounded several people including children.
Also Saturday, Hamas said it fired rockets from Lebanon toward an Israeli army post in the northern Israeli village of Shomera in retaliation for the “Zionists massacres” in the Gaza Strip. Hamas has carried out such attacks form Lebanon over the past several months, but they have been rare.
Hezbollah’s attack with dozens of Katyusha rockets on the northern Israeli kibbutz of Dafna came few hours after an Israeli drone strike hit a car in the southern Lebanese village of Burj al-Muluk, and shrapnel from the missile wounded several people who were standing nearby. The state-run National News Agency said that the wounded civilians are Syrian citizens and they included children.

The Israeli military said that about 45 projectiles were detected crossing from Lebanon into northern Israel in three separate barrages. It said that some were intercepted, while others fell in open areas, causing no injuries, but triggering several fires in the Golan Heights.