Construction of Egypt's first nuclear power plant underway
The first safety-related concrete for the nuclear island of Unit 1 of Egypt's El Dabaa nuclear power station has been poured.
The Nuclear Power Plants Authority (NPPA), the plant's owner, applied to the Egyptian Nuclear and Radiological Regulatory Authority (ENRRA) for construction licenses for units 1 and 2 of the El Dabaa plant on June 30, 2021.
It applied for construction licenses for units 3 and 4 on December 30. On June 29, ENRRA approved a construction license for unit 1 of the project ahead of schedule, allowing concrete pouring for the first reactor to begin.
On Wednesday, a ceremony was organized to commemorate the laying of the first concrete for El Dabaa 1. Egyptian Minister of Electricity and Renewable Energy Mohamed Shaker, NPPA Chairman Amged El-Wakeel, and Rosatom Director General Alexey Likhachov were among those present.
"The construction launch at El-Dabaa NPP unit 1 means that Egypt has joined the nuclear club," Likhachov said. "Construction of the nuclear power plant will allow Egypt to reach a new level of technology, industry, and education development. The plant will be the largest project of the Russian-Egyptian cooperation since the Aswan High Dam. Having its own nuclear energy industry has been a dream for the Egyptian people for more than half a century, and it is a great honor for Rosatom to make this dream come true."
"The ceremony commemorating the pouring of the first concrete for unit 1 is a great delight for us. The commencement of full-scale construction of unit 1 is a historic event for Egypt. The political leadership and the Egyptian-Russian cooperation contributed to the implementation of this ambitious project despite the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, which did not have a negative impact on the project," added Mohamed Shaker.
The El Dabaa nuclear power plant project, located around 320 kilometers northwest of Cairo, is based on contracts signed on December 11, 2017.
The plant will consist of four VVER-1200 units, similar to those already in service at Russia's Leningrad and Novovoronezh nuclear power stations, as well as Belarus' Ostrovets nuclear power plant.
Rosatom will not only build the plant but will also supply Russian nuclear fuel for the duration of its operation, according to the agreement.
They will also help Egyptian partners with personnel training and plant maintenance for the first ten years of operation. Rosatom has also been hired to construct a specific storage facility and supply containers for old nuclear fuel.