File photo: Egyptian parliament (Photo: Reuters)
Egypt energy and environment committee of Egypt's parliament will discuss Wednesday a new law aimed at regulating the construction of nuclear power stations in the country.
The 19-article draft law, which was revised by the State Council's department of legislation, was sent by the cabinet to parliament Saturday.
According to the committee's chairman, Talaat El-Sewedi, the committee will begin discussing the draft law, which is the first of its kind in Egypt, Wednesday.
The discussion of the draft law comes after a 16-member Egyptian parliamentary delegation visited Moscow two weeks ago.
The delegation from the energy and environment committee, headed by El-Sewedi, held talks with Russia's state-owned nuclear energy giant Rosatom, the company that will construct Egypt's first nuclear power station at El-Dabaa, 130 kilometres northwest of Cairo.
The delegation also visited a giant Russian nuclear reactor in St Petersburg to verify that the highest-level of risk-free operation of such reactors will be strictly observed.
El-Sewedi told reporters that the draft law aims at creating "the executive authority on the supervision of the construction of nuclear power station projects."
"This authority will be in charge of supervising the construction of nuclear power projects in Egypt," said El-Sewedi, indicating that "the draft law gives the authority all powers necessary to do its job in a flexible and economic way." "For example," said El-Sewedi, "all equipment and tools to be imported by this authority will be exempted from custom duties."
Informed sources said the new authority will take charge of supervising the construction of the new El-Dabaa project.
The draft law states that the new executive authority will coordinate closely with the Nuclear Power Stations Authority and the Nuclear and Radiation Control Authority.
"The new executive authority, which will be affiliated to the Ministry of Electricity and Energy, is to be exclusively tasked with supervising the construction of nuclear power stations in terms of selecting contractors, reviewing the progress of construction works, the experimental operation of these projects and issuing firsthand reports on them," said the draft law's explanatory note.
The draft law states that the board of the new executive authority will include representatives from the ministries of electricity, defence, interior, finance, planning, telecommunication, military production, environment, affiliated provincial governors, the state council, and the Nuclear Power Authority and Nuclear and Radiation Control Authority.
Representatives from General Intelligence and the Administrative Control Authority will be also allowed to attend the meetings of the new executive authority as "observers without having voting powers."
The board will have a four-year renewable term of life.