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Approval given for the construction of Egypt’s second nuclear reactor

2nd November 2022

By: Rebecca Campbell

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor

     

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Approval, in principle, for the construction of the second nuclear reactor (‘unit 2’) of Egypt’s El Dabaa nuclear power plant (NPP), has been granted by the Egyptian Nuclear and Radiological Regulatory Authority (ENRRA), World Nuclear News reported on Tuesday. The decision was made on Monday, but the formal issuing of the licence would only take place on November 19, which is Nuclear Energy Day in the North African country.

“This important event confirms Egypt’s insistence and its progress under the auspices of the country’s political leadership in achieving the long-awaited dream of producing clean electricity from nuclear plants, committed to the highest standards of nuclear safety and security in construction and operation,” stated the country’s Nuclear Power Plants Authority.

Construction of the NPP’s unit 1 started in July. Approval for building unit 2 followed a series of site inspections by ENRRA officials. The applications to build El Dabaa unit 3 and unit 4 were submitted to ENRRA in January.

The El Dabaa NPP’s four reactors would all be VVER-1200 units supplied by Russian State-owned nuclear group Rosatom. The contract was signed in 2017 and, under it, Rosatom would also provide the nuclear fuel for the reactors throughout their lifetimes, as well as building the fuel storage facilities.

A major subcontractor for the project was Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power. The South Korean company would supply materials for El Dabaa’s non-nuclear turbine islands (where the electricity would be generated) and construct about 80 buildings at the NPP site.

El Dabaa was located some 320 km west of Cairo, on the country’s Mediterranean coast. Unit 1 and unit 2 of the NPP should be operational by 2030 and should then be providing 9% of Egypt’s electricity supply (that was the target). This nuclear energy would directly displace the use of oil and gas to generate electricity, thereby reducing the country’s carbon emissions. Nuclear energy was a major component of Egypt’s climate change mitigation strategy.

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter

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