Talks regarding safety levels of developing a nuclear reactor have prevailed since 2015, when serious steps were taken towards the construction of Egypt’s first nuclear power plant to generate energy. The Egyptian government signed an agreement with Russia in order to proceed with the development of four VVER-1200 reactors by Rosatom, which will provide Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) services, nuclear fuel supply, operation support and maintenance, and spent nuclear fuel treatment. Construction of the first power unit, located in El Dabaa, on the coast of the governorate of Matrouh, will start as soon as the construction permit is issued by the Egyptian nuclear regulator – Egyptian Nuclear and Radiological Regulatory Authority (ENRRA). In the meantime, construction of administrative buildings and personnel residential area as well as preparatory works on the NPP site have been underway.
VVER reactors developed by Rosatom are among the world’s most widely used reactors; they have proved their high reliability over more than 1300 reactor-years of operation. Since the commissioning of the first VVER power unit in 1960s the technology has been providing safe and affordable electricity throughout the world: from Armenian mountains to the countryside of the Czech Republic, above the Arctic Circle and at the southern tip of India. VVER-1200 design takes into account current IAEA safety standard and so-called post-Fukushima safety requirements ensuring all safety aspects consideration. Safety systems built within the reactor take other outside factors and natural phenomena into consideration, such as earthquakes, floods, storm winds, hurricanes, snowfalls, tornadoes, low and high extremes of temperature, as well as such man induced events as aircraft crash, air shock waves, and flooding caused by water pipe breaks, ultimately ensuring stable operation during crises.
Third-generation VVER-1200 reactors are not only proving to be safer in the event of an accident, but also more cost and energy efficient as they are smaller in size, designed to extend the reactor’s service life, decrease the consumption of metals.