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Egypt / Main Construction Phase Begins At Russia-Supplied El Dabaa-3 Nuclear Plant

By David Dalton
3 May 2023

Moscow building four VVER-1200 reactors on Mediterranean coast

Main Construction Phase Begins At Russia-Supplied El Dabaa-3 Nuclear Plant
File photo from 2022 of first concrete at El Dabaa-2 in Egypt.

The main construction phase has begun with the pouring of first concrete for Unit 3 of the El Dabaa nuclear power station in Egypt, Russia’s state nuclear corporation Rosatom announced.

According to Rosatom a “technical ceremony” took place at the El Dabaa construction site on 3 May (Wednesday).

The first concrete pouring ceremony follows the issuing last month of the construction permit for the plant by the Egyptian Nuclear and Radiological Regulatory Authority.

Amged El-Wakeel, chairman of Egypt’s Nuclear Power Plants Authority, said the El Dabaa project is progressing on schedule.

El Dabaa, Egypt’s first nuclear station, will have four Russia-supplied Generation III+ VVER-1200 pressurised water reactors, with the first unit expected to be online in 2026.

The site is about 300 km northwest of the Egyptian capital Cairo on the country’s Mediterranean coast.

Construction of El Dabaa-1 began in July 2022 and of El Dabaa-2 in November 2022.

There are four identical VVER-1200 units in operation in Russia: two each at the Novovoronezh and Leningrad nuclear power stations. Outside Russia, a VVER-1200 plant was connected to the grid at the Belarusian nuclear power station in November 2020.

Belarusian-1 became the Belarusian-1 VVER-1200 became country’s first nuclear power plant to begin commercial operation in June 2021. A second unit, Belarusian-2, is earmarked for commercial operation in October 2023.

The El Dabaa project is being built under contracts which became effective in December 2017. Russia will deliver nuclear fuel for the station’s entire lifecycle, provide assistance in personnel training, and provide support operation and servicing for the first 10 years of operation. Russia will also build a storage facility and deliver casks for storing spent nuclear fuel.

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