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Egypt presses ahead with nuclear power via Al-Monitor

By Rasha Mahmoud

Egypt’s Nuclear and Radiological Regulatory Authority (ENRRA) has approved the site of al-Dabaa in the first step of the licensing process required to build a nuclear station. The ENRRA oversees nuclear activities in Egypt to ensure the safety and security of people, property and the environment from the risk of radiation.

The nuclear power station at al-Dabaa will be built by Egypt’s Nuclear Power Plants Authority (NPPA), which is affiliated with the Ministry of Electricity and Renewable Energy, in cooperation with a Russian contractor.

NPPA head Amjad al-Wakeel told Al-Monitor that the ENRRA license means that al-Dabaa site meets Egyptian and International Atomic Energy Agency standards. […]

In 2008, Russia and Egypt signed an agreement of cooperation on the peaceful use of nuclear power. In 2015, the two countries signed another agreement to build a nuclear station at al-Dabaa and in December 2017, they signed a deal to begin work on the site.

The project will be completed in eight stages, with the four reactors constructed by early 2020. All eight stages are scheduled to be completed by 2025. The project’s first stage is projected to cost $10 billion, and the overall project will cost $25 billion. A Russian loan will cover 85% of the project cost, and the Egyptian government will cover the rest. According to the head of the Nuclear Power Plants Authority, Mohammed Khayat, the interest on the loan after settlement is estimated at $5 billion, but that could increase if the Egyptian pound drops against the dollar.

[…] Egypt’s aspiration to build a nuclear power station dates to the 1950s, during the days of President Gamal Abdel Nasser, and the Russians were strongly supportive of the idea. Moscow cooperated with Cairo to establish the first nuclear reactor for research and training in Inshas northeast of Cairo in 1961. Other nuclear projects were proposed during Nasser’s days and then during Mohammad Anwar al-Sadat’s rule in cooperation with the United States until the early 1980s, but none came to fruition.

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