1. Why Building a Nuclear Power Plant?


The five –year plan of Ministry of Electricity aims at adding about 11400 Megawatt by 2027 with an average annual increase of about 2000 Megawatt considering load increase in order to achieve that MOE set a strategy based on 3 methods: Rationalization of electricity consumption, Rationalization of electricity production and diversification of production resources. This strategy aims at increasing the ratio of electricity generated from renewable energy to be 20% of the total generated electricity in Egypt by 2022 and to be 42% by the year 2035, it also aims at building wind farms by the fund of the private sector to reach 7200 Megawatt as a total capacity by 2022.Available electrical energy sources to cover future demand are fossil energy (natural gas, petroleum and coal) and new and renewable energy (water fall, solar, wind energy, biomass energy and geothermal and other resources   under research) and nuclear energy.
Opponents of nuclear energy claim that countries around the world are turning away from using nuclear energy and Egypt by choosing it, is going in the opposite direction. According to international statistics there are 433 working reactors in 31 countries and 55 reactor under construction in 14 countries among them 37 in China ,11 in Russia ,6 India ,5 south Korea, and in Ukraine and Japan (where Chernobyl and Fukushima accident took place ) by the year 2011.IAEA & WNA report that most countries affirmed on the necessity of nuclear energy and the lessons learned from accidents must be studied and safety of the existing plants should be reviewed.Countries after Fukushima could be classified into the following group:-Countries decided to go ahead on its current and future plans to establish nuclear plants and review its existing plants under the nuclear safety standards also keep on plants under construction (U.S.A, France, Russia, South Korea, Argentina, Sweden, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Bella Russia, Lithuania, Kazakhstan, Pakistan and the Netherlands).Countries decided to continue their plans to construct their first nuclear plants and taking into consideration the design modification after lessons learned from Fukushima accident (Jordan, U.A.E, Poland, Turkey and Vietnam).Countries suspended approval of new nuclear plants but keeping its nuclear program for operational and under construction plants (Ukraine, Brazil, China Finland, Malaysia, UK, India and Japan).Countries froze or postponed its nuclear program after the accident waiting for lessons learned (Indonesia, Italy, Thailand and Switzerland).As for Germany and Belgium they took the decision years ago phase out new nuclear plants because of anti- nuclear parties (Green Parties).
-El-Dabaa power plant project cannot be assessed from electricity generation point of view only, as the project has many strategic benefits, such as preserving petrol and natural gas resources, maximizing the value added through using petrol and natural gas as raw materials in petrochemicals and fertilizers industries. Nuclear energy is a clean energy source and together with the other renewable sources, plays a prominent role as one of the important solutions to decrease carbon emissions and to overcome global warming phenomenon.
-Diversifying the sources of electricity generation is important to secure the electricity supplies , and so not to depend on one source. The strategy of the Ministry of Electricity and Renewable Energy is to diversify the electricity production mix in order to achieve better security of energy supply. In addition, there are many other factors that make it inevitable to use nuclear energy, among which is that it helps to decrease the carbon dioxide emissions and to mitigate the global warming phenomenon. Also, the nuclear technology is an economic source, and it helps to achieve a shift in quality standards and industry development.
It will result in industry development through a long-term program that increases local industrialization percentage, which will in turn result in a shift in industry quality and its increased ability to compete in world markets. Investment in this type of projects gives an impression of the soundness of the Egyptian economy, which will contribute to improving the investment climate in Egypt and raising its credit rating. This will be reflected positively on commercial investment climate from the political perspective. Also, the competitive price of electricity, produced by nuclear plants, will have a direct positive effect on current commercial projects.
In 2014, we started communicating with international nuclear technology vendors, such as the Korean company KEPCO, the Chinese company CNNC, Russian company Rosatom, the French company Areva and the American company Westinghouse. Three of the companies positively responded to us, and after carefully considering their offers, we choose the one that fits best our financial and technical aspects. This was the Russian offer. We started the negotiations with the Russians, and in February 2015 a "Project Development" agreement was signed , then two other agreements were concluded - one for project financing and the other one is a framework agreement for inter-government cooperation in the peaceful nuclear applications, signed in November 2015. After the start of negotiations at the end of 2015, it was decided to conclude four agreements, which include: the main contract for construction of the nuclear power plant; the nuclear fuel supply contract, ; the operation and maintenance support contract; and the spent fuel contract, which, which were all activated on 11th December, 2017.
-A nuclear project cannot be assessed only from an economic perspective but from an overall perspective.A feasibility study for the project was carried out that comprises economic feasibility as well. This project is economically feasible and brings high benefits, both direct and indirect, in addition to installed capacity of 4800 MW which represents about 10% of Egypt's installed capacity. This project helps to localize nuclear technology, to increase local participation ratio and to achieve high quality standards.
- Due to the Chernobyl accident. However, comprehensive detailed studies of the site were conducted by a French company to ensure the validity of the site for construction.
Since the project was launched in December 2017, with the support of the political leadership in Egypt and Russia, the NPPA spares no efforts to comply with its obligations under the respective project stages. Since then, we have signed contracts and started actual construction operations. The residential areas for the Egyptian and foreign staff of the project are under construction now. The project is implemented in three stages: First stage: This is the preliminary phase, currently underway, which extends for two and a half years and includes obtaining of permits and licenses, completing infrastructure works, preparations of supplies and equipment necessary to commence construction works, holding technical meetings between Egyptian and Russian parties, exchange of technical documents in compliance with the contractual obligations related to the schedule, following up on the procedures for obtaining licensing, security approvals for experts, equipment and tools necessary for engineering survey works, developing a full fingerprint of the site and seabed pictures of the overlooking area and seismic measurements. Second stage: This is the construction stage extending for five and a half years, which starts with obtaining the Construction Permit. It comprises all activities related to construction, installations, training and preparations to commence operational tests. Third stage: It is the tests stage, which starts with obtaining the permit for carrying out pre-operational tests and lasts until the provisional handover of the unit and obtaining the operation license. Its duration is about one year. The dates of entering operation are December 2026 for the first unit, June 2027 for the second unit, June 2028 for the third unit and December 2028 for the fourth one.
-Because of various factors related to topographic, geological, geographical aspects and other characteristics, in addition to the availability of suitable resources of cooling water, which make it the most suitable option.