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Egypt to Start Building 1st Nuclear Reactor this Year

Egypt to Start Building 1st Nuclear Reactor this Year

Wednesday, 19 January, 2022 - 06:30
Site of the Nuclear Plant (Asharq Al-Awsat)

Egypt plans to start constructing the first power unit at El-Dabaa nuclear power plant in July of this year, Rosatom Group CEO Alexey Likhachev announced on Tuesday.


Cairo “wants to do everything so that the first concrete is poured in the summer, around July," Likhachev said, according to Russian news agencies, Sputnik and Russia Today.


Chairman of the Nuclear Power Plants Authority of Egypt (NPPA) Dr. Amgad Al-Wakeel revealed Monday that the green light to establish the first and second units is expected to be issued in the second half of 2022, after presenting all the necessary documents to obtain a construction permit and handing them over to the Egyptian Nuclear and Radiological Control Authority.


Speaking on the sidelines of Expo Dubai, he said El-Dabaa NPP belongs to the advanced third generation (Gen-3+) reactor technology, which is the most advanced technology to date that is characterized with the highest safety levels.


He said such reactors follow the “defense in depth” philosophy, which is based on the use of multiple physical barriers to prevent leaks of radioactive materials into the environment, as well as on employing passive safety systems that do not need power source to be actuated.


The reactor could withstand commercial aircrafts crash, tsunami waves, earthquakes and tornadoes, Al-Wakeel noted, adding that the project would develop the Egyptian industry, even of non-nuclear components, by increasing local participation to 35 percent for the fourth unit.


In previous comments, Egypt’s Minister of Electricity and Renewable Energy, Mohammed Shaker, confirmed that the first unit of El-Dabaa nuclear power plant is expected to be completed by 2026.


Last December, Al-Wakeel said the authority is committed to the timetable for implementing its nuclear program to generate electricity with a capacity of 4,800 megawatts in El-Dabaa, pointing out that the reactors will be operated at full capacity in 2030.


Egypt and Rosatom had signed on December 11, 2017, several documents to put into force the commercial contracts for the construction of the El-Dabaa plant.


According to the contracts, Rosatom will not only build El-Dabaa NPP on the Mediterranean coast, but it will also conduct personnel training and will assist its Egyptian partners in the operation and maintenance of the plant for the first ten years of its operation.


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