IAEA voices 'full' support to Egypt's Dabaa nuclear power plant, says 'major' step toward peaceful uses

Ahram Online , Thursday 16 Dec 2021

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) fully supports Egypt’s Dabaa nuclear power plant, IAEA's Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi said on Thursday, adding that the project is "major and significant step in the direction of peaceful uses of nuclear energy in Egypt."

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi ,Minister of Electricity Mohammed Shaker, Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry, and Chief of the General Intelligence Service Abbas Kamel with IAEA s Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi and several officials during their meeting on Thursday 16 December, 2021. Photo courtesy of Egyptian presidential Spokesman Facebook page.

The project shall elevate Egypt’s development, making it one of the region’s most important countries in the nuclear field, Grossi said at a meeting with President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi in Cairo.

The Dabaa plant is being implemented by Russian nuclear energy corporation Rosatom in Matrouh governorate, in the north of Egypt, under an agreement signed between Egypt and Russia in 2015.

The plant is expected to begin producing power in 2026.

Grossi said he is looking forward to this project being a model for fruitful cooperation between the IAEA and Egypt, according to a statement by Egyptian Presidential Spokesman Bassam Rady.

He praised Egypt's key contributions on the regional and international level in terms of nuclear non-proliferation and the peaceful uses of atomic energy.

President El-Sisi said Egypt is establishing the power plant to benefit from the peaceful uses of atomic energy for development, Rady added.

El-Sisi also expressed keenness to strengthen cooperation with the IAEA and benefit from its experience to apply the highest international standards of nuclear security.

The Egyptian president also hailed the agency’s important role worldwide in using nuclear science and technology to spread peace and security.

"The International Atomic Energy Agency bears a great responsibility towards enhancing the region’s stability and security," the statement quoted El-Sisi as saying.

Rays of Hope Initiative

The meeting also touched on Egypt’s cooperation with IAEA's upcoming initiative dubbed “Rays of Hope,” which aims to treat cancer patients in Africa, the statement added.

The cooperation will entail selecting one of the leading Egyptian medical institutions with experience in the field to serve as a hub to provide necessary technical support for the initiative in Africa, the presidency’s statement added.

COP27 and clean energy

El-Sisi and Grossi dealt with Egypt's plans to host the UN Climate Change Conference 2022 (COP27) and the possibility of using this huge event to highlight the important role of nuclear energy – like the Dabaa plant – in reducing carbon emissions and combating climate change.

The meeting was attended by Minister of Electricity Mohammed Shaker, Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry, and Chief of the General Intelligence Service Abbas Kamel.

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