El Dabaa in Focus of Attention
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#275March 2024

El Dabaa in Focus of Attention

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In early March, the work began on the construction site to install the first tier of the inner containment for El Dabaa Unit 1. It is a critical structure for ensuring safety of a power unit. In general, the El Dabaa construction project is of great interest to the Egyptian public and is in the focus of attention of the top officials from the Egyptian government.

The first tier of the inner containment consists of 12 ‘petal’ blocks, each weighing 60 to 80 tonnes. When completed, the inner containment will be a cylinder-­shaped reinforced concrete structure covered with a hemispherical dome, which houses the nuclear reactor and primary circuit equipment of the power unit. In case of emergency, the inner containment prevents the release of radioactive substances into the environment.

“We have witnessed the commencement of the installation works for the inner containment for Unit 1 as part of the ongoing progress of the construction works being carried out at the El Dabaa NPP site in furtherance of the ongoing support and cooperation between the Nuclear Power Plants Authority, the owner entity of the nuclear power plant and the EPC contractor. We look forward to the successful achievement of subsequent milestones scheduled to take place later this year,” stated Dr. Mohammed Dwiddar, Project Manager of the El-­Dabaa Nuclear Power Plant Project, Nuclear Power Plants Authority.

The nuclear construction project is in the center of attention of Egypt’s top officials. In late February, ASE Vice President and El Dabaa Construction Project Director Alexey Kononenko met with Major General Khaled Shuaib, Governor of Matrouh Province. Alexey Kononenko thanked the Governor for his close cooperation and involvement in the project to build Egypt’s first nuclear power plant. During the meeting, the parties discussed further improvements to the residential quarters for El Dabaa construction workers, with plans to build new stores and markets, fit out a beach and provide other services to local residents.

Rosatom is establishing strong cultural and social ties with Egypt. In March, a delegation from the El Dabaa construction site visited the Egyptian-­Russian Foundation for Culture and Science in Cairo. The discussion at the meeting was dedicated to the prospects of further cooperation and joint educational initiatives. “With this nuclear power plant in place, we will be able to produce clean electricity. This is a strategic project, which will have influence on the cooperation between Egypt and Russia for another two hundred years,” said Shadi Al-­Shafi’i, President of the Egyptian-­Russian Foundation for Culture and Science.

At the end of the meeting, the foundation donated over 200 books in three languages to the Territory of Childhood center and the library of the workers’ town.

“We see that Egyptians have a strong interest in nuclear power in general and their first nuclear station in particular, so raising public awareness is an important long-term objective that we will be able to achieve together,” said Elena Klimovskaya, Acting Head of Social Support at the El Dabaa construction project.

On March 8, the International Women’s Day was celebrated at the plant construction site. The female employees were congratulated and presented with flowers. “Women are an important part of our team as they work shoulder to shoulder with us at this sophisticated, high-priority facility. Their professionalism, talent and courage, which they show along with us, deserve the deepest respect. Thank you for what you do every day. Stay bright, kind and responsive. You are our inspiration and support,” Alexey Kononenko said.

Apart from routine construction operations, the nuclear power plant project provides for creating comfortable living and working conditions for the personnel. A multi-­level structure for social management was established at the El Dabaa NPP project. The team that led the process won silver medals in the Best Social and Humanitarian Program in Foreign Territories category at the A. P. Alexandrov Volunteering and CSR Project Competition. The awards were handed out by Rosatom Director General Alexey Likhachev.

Along with building the nuclear power plant, Rosatom assists in training professional staff for the nuclear sector. In February, 17 more El Dabaa employees received certificates of completion of a Russian language course organized by Rosatom’s Technical Academy. Language instructors from Peter the Great Saint Petersburg Polytechnic University taught the Egyptian nuclear professionals for six months. They were trained in general Russian language skills and also studied the specifics of Nuclear Russian. Upon completion of the language course, the Egyptian students passed two — ​oral and written — ​exams. A total of 77 trainees from Egypt have received Russian proficiency certificates since 2022.