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Thursday, 19 September 2019

Egypt ensures safety measures at Dabaa nuclear power plant following Russia blast

The chairman of the Egyptian Meteorological Authority confirmed that Egypt was far from the path of radioactive dust caused by a nuclear explosion in the Russian city of Severodvinsk last week

Ahram Online , Thursday 15 Aug 2019
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Egypt's Ministry of Electricity stressed that the country's national project for the peaceful uses of nuclear energy at Dabaa nuclear power plant is constructed according to state-of-the-art technologies and the highest levels of safety measures adopted worldwide .

The ministry said in statement to Al-Ahram newspaper on Thursday that a comprehensive review process of all documents related to the issuance of the project's licence was undergoing in cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna.

The ministry stated that the construction permission had not been granted by the IAEA yet, stressing that the current phase required a great compliance to accuracy as a large number of documents was being revised before obtaining all the licences and permissions related to the construction of the Dabaa nuclear power plant.

Spokesperson of Egypt's Nuclear and Radiological Regulatory Authority (ENRRA) Karim Al-Adham doubted the possibility of a nuclear accident at Dabaa similar to what happened in Russia, saying that the technologies expected to be applied at the plant are the safest and most advanced in the world.

"The nature of operations at nuclear power plants used to generate electricity is totally different from those used for military purposes," he added.

Al-Adham said Egypt was at no risk of any transfer of radioactive dust from Russia as a result of the nuclear blast that took place during a nuclear powered missile test at sea off the coast of the Arkhangelsk region in Russia last Thursday.

At least five experts were killed in the explosion.

The Chairman of the Egyptian Meteorological Authority Ahmed Abdel-Aal said Egypt was far from the path of radioactive dust caused by the nuclear explosion in the Russian city of Severodvinsk.

In a statement on Wednesday, Abdel-Aal said Egypt was not exposed to air masses coming from Russia during summer, unlike in winter which sees Egypt sometimes affected by the extension of the Siberian high.

Amgad El-Wakeel, head of the Nuclear Power Plants Authority said the authority obtained the approval of the Dabaa nuclear power plant site in April after comprehensive review operations by the IAEA.

He added a delegation from the IAEA had visited Egypt repeatedly in recent months to review all documents related to the environmental impact assessment report of the project.

Dabaa, Egypt’s first nuclear power plant, is planned to be built in Matrouh governorate on the Mediterranean coast, 250km west of Alexandria. Construction on the plant is expected to start in 2020.

Earlier this week, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov said that setting up the cornerstone for starting the actual construction process of Dabaa nuclear power plant in Egypt's North Coast was going on smoothly and efficiently.

The Russian State Atomic Energy Corporation (ROSATOM) will develop the Dabaa nuclear power plant, which will be owned and operated by the Nuclear Power Plant Authority of Egypt.

According to the project design, the nuclear plant will have four VVER-1200 reactor units. The first unit is scheduled to go critical in 2026. 

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