“Today is a historic day for Egyptian students - they connect their lives with nuclear power, and for our part, we must do everything possible to help them achieve success,” said Dmitry Pashevich, First Deputy General Director of Rusatom Service on 10 September at the opening of the training programme.
In early September, the first groups of specialists from the El-Dabaa NPP began training at the St Petersburg branch of the Technical Academy. The training is carried out as part of the execution of a package of contracts for the construction of Egypt’s first NPP.
The formal opening ceremony was attended by Deputy Chairman of the Board of Directors for Operations and Maintenance of the Egyptian Nuclear Power Plant Authority (NPPA) Mohamed Ramadan; Advisor to the General Director of Rosatom State Corporation Vladimir Artisyuk; Director of Educational Projects at Rosatom Valery Karezin; Vice President - Director of the NPP Construction Project El-Dabaa Grigory Sosnin; First Deputy General Director of JSC Rusatom Service Dmitry Pashevich; and Rector of the Technical Academy of Rosatom Yuri Seleznev.
The training programme for the El-Dabaa personnel will begin with by a Russian language course, which students will study for six months. Some 465 Egyptian students must complete the course after which they will begin theoretical training based on the materials of the Leningrad-II reference NPP, and will undergo practical training at the Leningrad plant and in the workplace. In total, within the framework of the project, Rosatom will train about 1700 specialists by 2028. The training will take place at the Rosatom Technical Academy in Russia and the Nuclear Power Plant Training Centre in Egypt.
“We are grateful to Rosatom for a unique comprehensive proposal for the development of nuclear technologies in our country. We have ambitious plans in this area,” said NPPA Deputy Chairman Mohamed Ramadan. “We understand that the training of two thousand highly qualified specialists with internships at the operating reference NPP requires a lot of resources. A step towards this cooperation was made more than ten years ago, when the first group of Egyptian specialists came to study at the Technical Academy (then - the Central Institute for Advanced Studies). It was an important moment for both sides.”
According to the rector of the Rosatom Technical Academy Yuri Seleznev, in order to improve the quality of training, the St. Petersburg branch additionally equipped training facilities and modernised the IT infrastructure. A staff of instructors has been prepared to conduct the training, including experienced operators who have worked for many years at nuclear power plants, and young specialists who have completed a long course of technical training, internship at NPPs, fluent in English. By the end of the year, it is also planned to commission an analytical simulator at the site of the branch. In addition, as part of the investment project for the development of the Technical Academy, the living and living conditions of students were improved, taking into account the cultural characteristics of the Egypt.
Rosatom also pays special attention to the development of Russian-Egyptian cooperation at the university level. In particular, joint educational programmes are being implemented at the Moscow Engineering Physics Institute (MEPhI) and Tomsk Polytechnic University with Egyptian universities for bachelor's and master's degrees. In addition, since 2018, teachers and employees of the universities of Cairo, Alexandria and Ain Shams involved in training personnel for the nuclear industry have been taking part in professional development courses in the Train-the-Trainers format, which are held by the Technical Academy of Rosatom.
The El Dabaa NPP, sited on the Mediterranean coast, will comprise four 1200MWe units with a Generation III+ VVER-1200 reactor. It is being constructed by Rosatom in accordance with a suite of contracts that entered into force in December 2017. According to the contract, Russia will also supply nuclear fuel throughout the lifecycle of the nuclear plant, arrange for the training of the Egyptian personnel, and will assist in the operation and maintenance of the plant for the first 10 years of its operation. The investment cost of the project is $30 billion, 85% of which is financed through a $25 billion Russian loan.