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An International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) team of experts has concluded an eight-day Site and External Events Design (SEED) review mission to Egypt

Cairo, Egypt

IAEA SEED team members together with Egyptian representatives in Cairo during the January 2019 SEED mission. (Photo: NRRA)

An International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) team of experts has concluded an eight-day Site and External Events Design (SEED) review mission to Egypt.

Egypt, with a population of almost 100 million, is planning to construct its first nuclear power plant (NPP) at the El-Dabaa site, located on the Mediterranean coast about 150 km west of the city of Alexandria.

The review mission, conducted on the basis of IAEA safety standards, was requested by the Egyptian Nuclear and Radiological Authority (ENRRA) and concluded on 29 January.

“The team identified good practices as well as areas where improvements could be made through greater alignment with IAEA safety standards,” said SEED team leader Ayhan Altinyollar, a Nuclear Safety Officer at the IAEA.

Conducted upon official request from a Member State, SEED missions assist IAEA Member States at different stages in the development of a nuclear power programme, including reviewing site selection, site assessment and design of structures, systems and components, taking into consideration site specific external and internal hazards.

The mission team comprised four experts from Japan, Spain, Turkey, the United Kingdom and one IAEA staff member.

The team met with experts from ENRRA, future operator Nuclear Power Plants Authority (NPPA) and its consultants, and national organizations such as the Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency and the National Research Institute of Astronomy and Geophysics. The team also met with Samy Shaaban Ata-Allah Soliman, Chairman of the Board of ENRRA.

“Nuclear safety is a top priority for Egypt,” Ata-Allah Soliman said. “The results of this mission will be useful for us as an independent review.”

The team identified good practices, including:

  • ENRRA has included all relevant IAEA safety standards in its regulations, which are used as part of the basis for the site studies carried out for the El-Dabaa site.
  • NPPA has carried out a comprehensive screening of site specific external hazards.

The team provided recommendations, including:

  • Some NPPA site studies should be further aligned with IAEA safety standards.
  • Additional site specific information should be incorporated in the studies and some of their conclusions better justified.

The final mission report will be delivered to the Government of Egypt within three months.

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