Site Approval Permit for El Dabaa NPP issued
In early March this year, the Nuclear Power Plants Authority (NPPA) received the Site Approval Permit (SAP) for the El Dabaa site, issued by the Egyptian Nuclear Regulation and Radiological Authority (ENRRA). Obtaining the Site Approval Permit marks the achievement of the first major milestone in the El Dabaa Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) licensing process. Site approval came as a conclusion of a detailed comprehensive review by ENRRA of the Site Approval Application documents submitted by the NPPA in 2017, which included:
- data about the reactor installation;
– site data and characteristics, as well as information about the companies that have studied the site;
– design basis and concept; and
– Project environmental impact assessment (EIA) report reviewed by the Environmental Affairs Agency.
To support the review of submitted documents, the government of Egypt had invited an independent review mission by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which focused its efforts on the Site Evaluation Report and the radiological part of the Environmental Impact Assessment report. This assistance was provided within the framework of the Site and External Events Design (SEED) review mission held in late January 2019. Specific attention during the review process was payed to safety-related site characteristics and external natural and human-induced hazards, including earthquakes, Tsunamis, and human induced external events.
Issuance of the SAP is an acknowledgement that the El Dabaa site and its specific conditions comply with national and IAEA requirements for NPP sites. Site specific conditions must be appropriately considered in the design of the NPP to ensure the future safe and reliable operation of the nuclear installations.
The permits within the nuclear licensing process for an NPP are issued for each unit separately. The only exception is the Site Approval Permit, which is issued for four nuclear units. The Site Approval Permit issued by the ENRRA is a condition for obtaining the next licensing document – a Construction Permit, which authorizes the implementation of any nuclear related works at the El Dabaa NPP site.
The Nuclear Power Plants Authority (NPPA) of Egypt is the Owner and future operator of the El Dabaa NPP. It is the body legally empowered to ensure the timely construction and safe operation of the nuclear installation, as well as to prepare the needed human resources and provide training to them inside the country and abroad.
ENRRA is an independent regulatory authority that establishes the relevant requirements for safety, security and safeguards of nuclear installations. It undertakes all the regulatory and control functions related to the implementation of the El Dabaa NPP aimed to ensure the safety of humans, property and the environment against the risks of exposure to ionized radiations. ENRRA issues the licenses and permits of nuclear facilities and thus defines the rules and procedures to be followed to obtain the mentioned permits and licenses and stipulated period per each license.