Egypt’s Dabaa nuclear plant granted Site Approval Permit

The Egyptian Nuclear Power Plants Authority (NPPA) received in March the Site Approval Permit (SAP) for the El-Dabaa site, issued by the Egyptian Nuclear Regulation and Radiological Authority (ENRRA), NPPA said in a statement on Monday.

Obtaining the SAP marks the achievement of the first major milestone in the El-Dabaa Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) licensing process, the statement added, as the site approval came as a conclusion of a detailed comprehensive review by ENRRA of the site approval application documents submitted by NPPA in 2017, which included:

  1. Data about the reactor installation;
  2. Site data and characteristics, as well as information about the companies that have studied the site;
  3. Design basis and concept; and
  4. Project environmental impact assessment (EIA) report reviewed by the Environmental Affairs Agency.

To support the review of submitted documents, the government of Egypt had invited an independent review mission by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that focused on the Site Evaluation Report and the radiological part of the EIA report.

The statement said that this assistance was provided within the framework of the Site and External Events Design (SEED) review mission held in late January 2019. Specific attention during the review process was paid to safety-related site characteristics and external natural and human hazards, including earthquakes, Tsunamis, and human-induced external events.

Issuance of the SAP is an acknowledgement that the El-Dabaa site and its specific conditions comply with national and IAEA requirements for NPP sites, as the site-specific conditions must be appropriately considered in the design of the NPP to ensure the future safe and reliable operation of the nuclear installations.

The permits within the nuclear licensing process for an NPP are issued for each unit separately. The only exception is the SAP, which is issued for four nuclear units. The Site Approval Permit issued by the ENRRA is a condition for obtaining the next licensing document – a Construction Permit, which authorizes the implementation of any nuclear related works at the El-Dabaa NPP site, the Nuclear Power Plants Authority (NPPA) said.

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