Melt traps ordered for Egyptian nuclear plant

6 February 2018

Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom announced that the first melt trap protection system for the reactors to be constructed at the nuclear plant in El Dabaa would arrive in Egypt in 2020.

The protection system is designed to shut down the reactors in case of a radioactive release. “The trap is a cone-shaped housing mounted at the bottom of the reactor pit. It is filled with special materials, which, in case of an emergency, will mix with melted fuel from the active zone to ensure its even distribution in the body of the trap. The device can hold the melt for an unlimited time, without allowing radioactive substances to be released into the environment,” a statement said.

The plant will include four generation III reactors VVER-1200 reactors with a total capacity of 4800MWe. A preliminary agreement to build the facility was signed by Egypt and Russia in November 2015, along with a $25bn billion loan to cover 85% of the plant cost, with Egypt providing the remaining 15%. Local funding for the first two reactors will be 20% and 25% respectively, and will gradually increase to 35% for the other two reactors.

Rosatom is preparing to launch an international tender for construction work at El Dabaa and contracts with the winning companies will be awarded in July.

Sources at Rosatom told Daily News Egypt that the winning companies would handle the project’s construction work as well as the establishment of its infrastructure. They will also construct temporary roads for the project, as well as administrative offices and accommodation for the project’s workers. Any  Egyptian and Russian companies can participate. “We hope that an Egyptian company would handle the construction work,” the sources added.

Laying the foundation stone for the El Dabaa plant is scheduled for February 2020 and construction is expected to take 54 months.

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