More Than Just Energy
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#266June 2023

More Than Just Energy

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Three units of El Dabaa, the first nuclear power plant in Egypt, are currently being constructed side by side. However, civil nuclear cooperation between Russia and Egypt is not limited to just this project. Rosatom showcased its healthcare product line at the pan-­African exhibition and conference, Africa Health ExCon 2023, held on June 6–9 in Cairo.

Held under the patronage of the President of the Arab Republic of Egypt, Abdel Fattah al-­Sisi, Africa Health ExCon 2023 brought together about 60,000 delegates and participants from over 90 countries, focusing on the healthcare and pharmaceutical market. For the second consecutive year, Rosatom participated in the exhibition and business program of the event. The Russian nuclear corporation showcased its innovative nuclear medicine products and solutions. Today, Rosatom ranks among the world’s Top 5 supplier of isotopes for the diagnosis and treatment of cancerous, cardiovascular, neurological, and other diseases.

Currently, Rosatom offers 16 types of in-demand medical equipment, designed and produced in-house, along with an integrated approach of implementing medical infrastructure facilities: from designing a building that meets all safety requirements to equipping and training medical personnel. Rosatom produces 11 radiopharmaceuticals for the diagnosis and treatment of oncological and cardiovascular diseases, and is also building Europe’s largest plant for the production of radiopharmaceuticals. By 2025, 21 technological production lines will manufacture over 25 types of radiopharmaceuticals.

During the business program of Africa Health ExCon 2023, representatives of Rosatom group companies discussed high-tech healthcare solutions and products developed in Russia. Among them are the Onyx linear particle accelerator, Brachyum brachytherapy device, cyclotrons, and Tianox, a nitric oxide therapy system.

This is a unique Russian device for nitric oxide therapy for adults and children, including newborns. It is used in pulmonology, cardiac surgery, transplantology, neonatology, and rehabilitation. The device synthesizes nitric oxide, delivers it to the patient’s circuit and controls the concentration.

On the sidelines of the exhibition, an agreement was signed between Rusatom RDS JSC and the Egyptian company Med Pharma Group. The parties agreed on the development of further scientific and technical cooperation and the introduction of nitrogen monoxide usage, based on the “Tianox” device, in medical practice in Egypt

Civil nuclear cooperation between Russia and Egypt dates back to the 1950s and 1960s. This was recalled by Rosatom’s Vice President and Director at Rosatom Middle East and North Africa Alexander Voronkov speaking in Kazan at the 14th International Economic Forum ‘Russia — ​Islamic World: KazanForum 2023’.

“In the late 1950s, our engineers helped Egypt build one of the first research reactors in the region,” he said.

Rosatom’s competencies are not limited to nuclear power projects alone, Alexander Voronkov added. “We offer a wide range of nuclear and non-nuclear products and services that may interest our Egyptian, and more broadly, Middle Eastern partners. For example, we supply Egypt with low-enriched nuclear fuel components for the country’s second research reactor and are expanding our cooperation in isotopes,” Alexander Voronkov said.

Rosatom sees potential in entering the Egyptian market for digital solutions and implementing joint smart city projects, he added. He also stated that four VVER‑1200 reactors at El-­Dabaa NPP would satisfy approximately 10 % of the country’s electricity needs and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by about 15 million tons per year.

In May, the Egyptian House of Representatives approved the government-­drafted amendments to the 1976 law regulating the Nuclear Power Plants Authority (NPPA). According to NPPA Chairman Amged El-­Wakeel, the amendments will provide tax incentives to Egyptian and foreign contractors involved in the El-­Dabaa NPP project. “The construction of El Dabaa NPP is now fully on schedule after some delays caused by the COVID‑19 pandemic. The new legislation aims to accelerate the project and will give NPPA more authority and flexibility to remove any obstacles hindering the project,” El-­Wakeel pointed out.

Hend Rasheed, Deputy Chairman of the House of Representatives’ Energy and Environment Committee, said the law would also expand NPPA’s authority to include nuclear desalination projects.

Meanwhile, Russian companies are busy manufacturing and shipping equipment for the nuclear power plant under construction. In late May, ZiO-Podolsk (part of Rosatom’s power engineering division AtomEnergoMash) confirmed the company was ready to start production of a suppression pool, one of the key components of the reactor island, its fastening elements and embedded parts. The production facilities of ZiO-Podolsk were inspected by representatives of the customer (NPPA), a consultant from the French inspection and certification company BUREAU VERITAS, experts of the Egyptian Nuclear and Radiological Regulatory Authority (ENRRA), and other experts.

During the three-day inspection, experts examined the quality management system in place and analyzed technical and engineering design documents. They inspected the workshops that will manufacture equipment for the Egyptian nuclear power plant and assessed the compliance of the measuring and testing laboratories with international requirements. The suppression pool is designed to condense steam coming from the pressurizer and other primary circuit systems during reactor warm-up and other operating modes.

Tyazhmash (part of Rosatom) has manufactured a truss and bottom plate assembly for the core catcher of El Dabaa Unit 1. This large-­sized assembly has passed factory acceptance tests. Tyazhmash will supply four core catchers, the same number of polar cranes, and equipment sets for the reactor cavity for the Egyptian nuclear power plant.

AtomEnergoMash (AEM) is Rosatom’s power engineering division and one of Russia’s largest power machinery producers providing comprehensive solutions in design, manufacture and supply of machinery and equipment for nuclear, thermal, petroleum, shipbuilding and steel-­making industries.