Egypt is pushing ahead with plans to build a nuclear power station. The country’s Nuclear and Radiological Regulatory Authority (ENRRA) has approved the site of Al Dabaa in the first step of the licensing process required to build a nuclear station, Al Monitor reported on Tuesday.
ENRRA is responsible for overseeing nuclear activity in Egypt and ensuring the safety of people, property and the environment from risk of radiation.
Al Dabaa will be built by Egypt’s Nuclear Power Plants Authority (NPPA), which is affiliated with the Ministry of Electricity and Renewable Energy, in cooperation with a Russian contractor. When completed the power plant will house four nuclear reactors in Marsa Matruh governorate on the Mediterranean coast.
Russia and Egypt signed a cooperation agreement in 2008 on the use of nuclear power for peaceful purposes.
In 2015, the two countries signed another agreement to build a nuclear station at Al Dabaa and in December 2017 they signed a deal to begin construction of the site.
The four reactors are expected to be completed by 2025 at a cost of $25-billion following construction periods in four separate phases. A Russian loan will cover 85 percent of construction costs.
Cairo first had plans to build a nuclear power station in the 1950s under the presidency of Gamal Abdel Nasser, an ambition that was strongly supported by the Soviets. In 1961 with Moscow’s support the first nuclear reactor for research and training was established in north-east Cairo.
Other nuclear projects were proposed during Nasser’s days and then during Mohammad Anwar Al Sadat’s rule in cooperation with the United States. However, none came to fruition.