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Russia ready to assist Egypt in building nuclear reactors — nuclear energy corporation

June 08, 2015, 18:24 UTC+3 CAIRO
During the talks between the Rosatom officials and Egypt’s prime minister, the sides discussed Russia’s participation in the construction of a nuclear power plant at El Dabaa in north Egypt
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Egypt's nuclear research center

Egypt's nuclear research center

© AP Photo/Mohamad al-Sehety

CAIRO, June 8. /TASS/. Russia is ready to provide assistance to Egypt in creating nuclear reactors, Russian civilian nuclear power corporation Rosatom CEO Sergey Kiriyenko said during talks late on Sunday.

"Russia is ready to share the necessary knowledge with Cairo in developing this vitally important sector for the country and assist in creating nuclear reactors, and also train Egyptian personnel in Russia," according to a statement made public by the Egyptian government on Monday.

During the talks held between the Rosatom officials and Egypt’s Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab, the sides discussed Russia’s participation in the construction of a nuclear power plant at El Dabaa in north Egypt, the spokesman for the Egyptian government said.

"Cairo seeks to use broad international, including Russian, experience in this sphere as part of preparations for building the El Dabaa NPP, which will help meet Egypt’s internal requirements for electric power," the spokesman said.

During Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to Egypt on February 10 this year, both countries signed a memorandum of understanding in nuclear power engineering, including cooperation in the construction of Egypt’s first nuclear power plant.

Egypt announced back in 2007 about the project of building three 600 MW nuclear power plants under the supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

The first NPP worth $1.5-1.8 billion was scheduled to enter service already in 2015-2016.

Companies from the United States, France, Japan, South Korea and China, and also Russia’s Rosatom announced their intention at that time to participate in a tender for the construction of the NPP at El Dabaa on the Mediterranean Sea coast some 150 km west of Alexandria.

However, the international tender was frustrated first by technical specifics and then by the revolutionary events of 2011-2013.

After the political situation in Egypt stabilized with the election of new President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi, the North African country restarted the El-Dabaa project. The Egyptian government chose the end of last year as the most probable term for announcing a tender but these plans were not implemented.

Now the end of 2015 is considered as the date for announcing an international tender for the El-Dabaa NPP contractor.

Currently, two experimental reactors are operational in Egypt. The first of them, the 2MW reactor in Anshas 60 km from Egypt, was supplied by the USSR in 1958.

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