Preparatory work has started for the construction of Egypt’s first nuclear power plant (NPP) which will be located on its Mediterranean coast at El Dabaa, about 130 km northwest of the Egyptian capital, Cairo, according to a release by the Russian state atomic energy corporation Rosatom.
Egypt and Russia signed an intergovernmental agreement in 2015 under which Russia will help build and part-finance the first Egyptian NPP to be owned by the country’s Nuclear Power Plant Authority (NPPA). The El Dabaa NPP will have four Russian-designed VVER-1200 units of 1,200 MW capacity each, making Egypt the only country in the region to have a state-of-the-art Generation III+ reactor.
The statement said that earlier this month a delegation from Rosatom’s engineering division, ASE Group, led by the company President Alexander Lokshin, along with the NPPA Board Chairman, Dr. Amged El-Wakeel, visited the construction site of the El-Dabaa NPP. The delegation included senior officials, as well as the project teams of both ASE and the NPPA.
According to Rosatom, the delegation visited the NPP construction site and inspected the preparation of the pits for power units 1 and 2, the facilities of the construction base, and the concrete-mix unit.
“The foundation pit of unit 1 is fully ready for the start of work on the arrangement of concrete preparation for the buildings of the nuclear island, which will begin in the near future. These activities are a prerequisite for the ‘first concrete’ pouring, that is, pouring concrete into the base of power unit 1”, the statement said.
“In addition, preparatory work continues on the site: construction of infrastructure facilities and a docking facility which will receive large and heavy equipment are also underway”, it added.
“We went through the current activities with our Egyptian partners and outlined further steps towards the implementation of the tasks set. The ASE and NPPA teams work harmoniously and dynamically in all areas of project implementation. A good pace of work has been set. We expect that a permit for construction will be obtained this summer and work of the main period of NPP construction will start”, Alexander Lokshin said in a statement.
“The construction of the El-Dabaa NPP is the embodiment of the long-standing dream of the Egyptian people about peaceful nuclear energy. We are seeing positive dynamics in the implementation of the project”, said Amged El-Wakeel.
Although the Egyptian nuclear power program was started in 1954, and its first research reactor ETRR-1 was acquired from the erstwhile Soviet Union in 1958, it is only now that work has started on building the country’s first nuclear power plant.