Photo Credit: Wikimedia / Fatma el Shafie
Location of El-Daba'a nuclear power plant project, Nov. 2, 2020

Russia is building Egypt’s first nuclear power plant (NPP), the English-language Egyptian Al Ahram news outlet reported this weekend.

Russia’s State Atomic Energy Corporation (ROSATOM) has received a permit from the Egyptian Nuclear and Radiological Regulatory Authority (ENRRA) to build the El-Daba’a NPP Unit 1 nuclear power plant, ROSATOM announced.

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The Czech ÚJV Rež Research and Development company to consult on El-Dabaa Nuclear Plant, according to ENRRA Chairperson Sami Shaaban.

The initial agreement on building the facility in the El-Daba’a region of Marsa Matrouh was signed in November 2015 between Egypt and Russia.

Alexey Likhachev, ROSATOM director general said in a statement that “El-Dabaa NPP will be the first nuclear power plant of this generation on the African continent. It will further secure the country’s regional technological leadership.”

The plant is expected to generate 4,800 megawatts through four reactors at the site. Construction is expected to begin this month.

“Today, we etched in gold Egypt joining the ranks of countries building nuclear power plants after over 70 years waiting for this dream to come true,” Amgad El-Wakeel, board chairman of Nuclear Power Plants Authority of Egypt said.

The project will include four WER-1,200 reactor units with the first unit expected to be operational in 2026. Electrical components for the reactor vessel are being manufactured at a production site in Saint Petersburg, Al Ahram reported.

Egypt has considered establishing nuclear power since the 1960s, according to the World Nuclear Organization. The planned reactors are expected to have significant desalination capacity, which will help the country contend with its escalating drought problem.

The United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) expressed “full support” for the project last December, calling it a “major and significant step in the direction of peaceful uses of nuclear energy in Egypt.”

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.