CAIRO: Egypt has reached an agreement to build first nuclear power plant for peaceful activities after 54 years of struggle to own a reactor for electricity production.
Egypt’s nuclear history
1961- Egypt’s first trial to use atomic energy; it established, in cooperation with Russia, the Inshas nuclear research facility in Sharqiya Governorate, 60 kilometers east of Cairo. It has been used in agriculture and industrial researches.
1964- Egypt intended to have a nuclear reactor and offered an international tender to build it in Sidi Krir, near Alexandria. However, the project stopped due the war in 1967 with Israel, as well as the Three Mile Island accident, in which a U.S. reactor suffered a partial nuclear meltdown.
1981- The notion of possessing a nuclear power plant was revived and Dabaa city was announced, per a presidential decree, as nuclear plant location. Dabaa is located in Marsa Martouh governorate, 183.9 miles from Cairo on the North Coast.
1982- The government evacuated 500 families from their homes in Dabaa to make way for the plant. Despite the dispersal of the residents, nothing has been worked on concerning the project.
2006- Former President Hosni Mubarak announced he would revive Dabaa project, but nothing was changed.
2011- The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) announced, during its one year rule following the January 25 Revolution, that Dabaa is a “suitable” location and that the government will pay compensation to evacuated residents.
2012- Former Islamist President Mohamed Morsi promised to meet Dabaa residents’ demands for compensation.
2013- Former Interim President Adly Mansour promised to revive the Dabaa Project.
2014- In his inauguration, President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi announced to build the Dabaa plant during his tenure; in November, Sisi agreed with his Russian Counterpart Vladimir Putin to cooperate on building the plant.
2015- Russia and Egypt initialed nuclear cooperation agreements to build the nuclear plant. On Aug. 26, both countries signed contracts to build the first phase of the plant that includes four out of eight reactors. It was scheduled that Dabaa residents would receive their houses in the new Dabaa city, which was built by the armed forces in 2015.
2016- Plant construction is scheduled to start in mid-2016 and is expected to be completed by 2020.
Facts on the nuclear plant
The plant is located on 55 square kilometers in the Mediterranean city of Dabaa.
- It will consist of eight reactors
- Russia will build the first four reactors; meanwhile, the construction of other four will be via international tender
- Each reactor will produce 1,200 megawatts
- The cost is estimated at $5 billion per reactor