Construction licence issued for El Dabaa 4

5 September 2023

The Board of Directors of Egypt’s Nuclear & Radiological Regulatory Authority (ENRRA) has granted a licence to Egypt’s Nuclear Power Plants Authority (NPPA) for the construction of power unit 4 of the El Dabaa NPP. ENRRA Chairman of the Board of Directors Sami Shabaan said the Authority is exercising its ongoing role as a regulator during the construction of units 1, 2 & 3 through a system of on-site inspectors. The construction licence for unit 1 was issued in June 2022, for unit 2 in October 2022, and for unit 3 in March 2023.

El Dabaa NPP will comprise four units with generation III+ VVER-1200 pressurised water reactors. The NPP is being constructed in accordance with contracts that entered into force in 2017. The $30bn project is mainly financed through a $25bn Russian loan. Rosatom will supply nuclear fuel throughout the lifecycle of the plant, arrange for the training of the Egyptian personnel, and assist in the operation and maintenance of the plant for the first 10 years. The reference plant for El Dabaa is the Leningrad-II NPP. Construction of unit 1 began in July 2022, and work on unit 2 began in November 2022. Construction of all four units is planned for completion by 2028-2029 and Egypt expects that the NPP will reach full capacity by 2030.

The ENRRA commission has completed a comprehensive inspection to verify the readiness to start the construction process of unit 4 with a generation III+ VVER-1200 reactor plant. The commission confirmed the safety of the construction noting that no harm to the environment was found.

“The process of construction of the El Dabaa NPP is proceeding in full accordance with the schedule, said Alexei Kononenko, Vice President of general contractor JSC ASE and Director of the El Dabaa NPP construction project. “Obtaining a construction licence … is another key milestone that we have achieved this year thanks to the well-coordinated joint work of the Customer NPPA and the General Contractor. This is a significant step that brings us closer to the key event - the pouring of first concrete and the start of the construction of unit 4.”

First concrete for unit 3 was poured in May. In August, NPPA organised an on-site inspection to confirm preparations for pouring the first concrete for unit 4. The inspection also included representatives of ENRRA and JSC VO Safety, which provides technical support to the agency.

Image: Ground work has begun for construction of unit 4 at the El Dabaa NPP (courtesy of NPPA)

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