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Russia's Rosatom starts building Egypt's first nuclear power reactor

The Russian state-owned nuclear corporation Rosatom has started building the first unit of the 4,800 MW El Dabaa nuclear power plant (4 x 1,200 MW) located in the city of El Dabaa in the Matruh province on the Mediterranean coast, about 300 km northwest of Cairo (Egypt). Earlier in July 2022, the Egyptian Nuclear and Radiological Regulatory Authority (ENRRA) issued a permit for the construction of the project. The Nuclear Power Plants Authority (NPPA) submitted an application to secure construction licenses for the first two reactors to ENRRA in June 2021 and for units 3 and 4 in December 2021.

In 2017, Egypt signed all the contracts with Rosatom for its first nuclear power plant, made up of four VVER-1200 units. The total cost is estimated at US$30bn, of which US$25bn could be lent by the Russian government. The Russian company will supply nuclear fuel over the plant's lifetime of 60 years, provide operation and maintenance services during the ten first year of operation, build a special storage facility and supply containers for storing used nuclear fuel. A site approval permit was granted by ENRRA in April 2019.

South Africa is currently the only African nation with commercial nuclear power. Eskom owns and operates two reactors at Koeberg with a total capacity of 1.9 GW.

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