About Nuclear Energy
The peaceful use of nuclear energy is growing in various walks of life, including industrial, medical, agricultural and other fields. The generation of electricity from nuclear energy is one of the most important uses by generating clean and economically competitive energy. It is also a sustainable technology that guarantees the right of future generations to fossil resources as a result of the availability of their fuel for decades.
Power stations are spread in more than 30 countries with a global contribution estimated at 16% of the total electricity generated from all sources combined, through 449 nuclear reactors operating. Currently there are about 60 reactors under construction, and many countries have announced plans to develop nuclear power generation programs and consider them as a strategic energy option.
Since its inception, the technology of nuclear power reactors has undergone several developments from the first generation to the so-called advanced third generation ( III +) . The designs of this advanced generation are characterized by the adoption of standard and stereotypical techniques, which has reflected positively on the safety and cost factors of these reactors.
The Egyptian Nuclear Program (Key Events)
Establishment of Atomic Energy commission.
Establishment of Atomic energy institution.
Operating the first research reactor at Inshas.
Establishment of the Nuclear Engineering Dept at Alexandria University.
Invitation for an international tender to construct a nuclear power plant for electricity generation and sea water desalination at Sidi-krer.
Issuance of a Letter of Intent to the first company in the tender.
War of June 1967,the project came to a halt.
Invitation for a restricted tender among American companies to implement the project of constructing a nuclear power plant at Sidi-Krer.
Establishment the Nuclear Power Plants Authority (NPPA).
Establishment of the Supreme Council of Energy.
Establishment of the Nuclear Materials Authority.
The project stopped as a result of TMI accident in the United States.
Selection of El-Dabaa site for the construction of the Egyptian nuclear power plant.
Issurance of the presidential decree to allocate El-Dabaa site to establish the nuclear power project.
Approval of the Supreme Council of Energy for the Egyptian nuclear program.
Establishing a fund to support alternative energy projects.
Invitation for an international tender for the construction of a nuclear power plant at El-Dabaa site.
The project was interrupted as a result of Chernobyl accident in the former Soviet Union.
Installation and operation of the second Egyptian experimental reactor at Inshas.
Starting a national dialogue to study the use of nuclear power in electricity generation.
Re-formation of the Supreme Council of Energy chaired by the Prime Minister.
Declaration of Egypt`s strategic decision to build a number of reactors for electricity generation.
Formation of the Supreme Council for the Peaceful use of nuclear energy headed by the President of the Republic.
Invitation for an international tender to select a consultation firm for the construction of the nuclear power plant.
Upgrading and finalizing the specifications of the first nuclear power plant in cooperation with the experts of the IAEA in the wake of Fukushima accident.
Issuance of the decision of the Council of Ministers in its session held 10/10/2013 approving to NPPA to resume the consultant`s work to implement the phases with regard to the nuclear power plant project.
Contracting with the Engineering Authority of the Armed Forces for the rehabilitation of El-Dabaa site with the basic facilities , protecting and securing it, Completion of environmental monitoring system at the site.
Singning of an Inter-governmental agreement between Egypt and Russia on cooperation in the field of building and operating the first nuclear power plant in Egypt with the Russian technology.
Negotiations with the Russian side to build, operate , fuel supplying, storage of spent fuel for a nuclear power plant consisting of 4 units with VVER type reactors , 1200 MW each.
Site Approval Permit (SAP) for El Dabaa site was issued by the Egyptian Nuclear Regulation and Radiological Authority (ENRRA).
Safety principles in nuclear plants
Protection and safety of workers and the public from the effects of exposure to ionizing radiation is a binding requirement in the nuclear industry. The International Commission on Radio-logical Protection has identified three main principles for the achievement of radio-logical protection:
Nuclear Reactor Types
Pressurized Water Reactor (PWR)
Boiling Water Reactor (BWR)
Water Cooled Graphite-Moderated Reactor (RBMK)
Pressurized Heavy Water Reactor (PHWR)
Gas Cooled Reactor (GCR)
Is the source of power generation of fissionable nuclear reactors, producing a huge amount of thermal energy from the fission process, and the specifications of these materials are related to the selection of technology used for the reactor and its design and operation methods. There are two types of nuclear material used as fuel:
1. Materials that undergo fission by thermal neutrons and are called fissile materials, of which the natural origin is uranium-235 and its presence in crude is 0.7% or substances that are not naturally formed and are manufactured, namely uranium-233 and plutonium-239.
Uranium-235 is used as a fuel either as a natural Uranium in heavy water reactors, or with about 3-4% enrichment in light water reactors. The process of increasing the counterpart ratio 235 in uranium is called the normal ratio of the enrichment process.
2. The so-called fertile materials, uranium-238 (up to 99.3% uranium ore) and thorium-232, are called fertile materials because they are converted into fissile material when collided by neutrons. The former converts into plutonium 239 and the latter converts into uranium 233. Plutonium is used as a main fuel in fast reactors and is used as fuel in thermal reactors in the form of a mixture with MOX fuel.
Advantages of using nuclear fuel:
Like all other energy sources, nuclear energy produces waste (appropriate disposal methods should be followed to protect both human and the environment from its negative effects).
The waste resulting from the use of certain energy sources varies in its size, characteristics and the disposal method.
The volume of waste generated by a coal fired power station of 1000 MW requires 1000 tons of coal.
These results in the release 300 tons of Sulphur dioxide, 5 tons of ash containing other elements such as: Chlorine, Cadmium , Arsenic, Mercury, Lead in addition to some radioactive substances.
In turn , the same energy generated from nuclear power results in 500 cubic meters of waste yearly .
Sources of radioactive waste
The radioactive waste is produced from the following manufacturing activities:
Classification of radioactive waste
There is no international classification of radioactive waste; factors involved in the classification of radioactive waste are as follows:
In the classification of radioactive waste, the United States relies on the concentration of the radioactive equivalent of a given volume of air or water as follows:
Radioactive waste management
A radioactive waste management program aims at reaching a situation that ensures the protection of humans and the environment from the harmful effects of such wastes. This means that they are processed or saved, or both, so that their radiation levels fall below their natural radiation levels in the environment. A few hours may extend to days, even hundreds or thousands of years, and this is especially evident in the case of high-level waste.
Radioactive waste can be disposed of according to its radioactive level as follows: