In early September, the first groups of El-Dabaa NPP specialists began training in the St. Petersburg branch of the Technical Academy. The training is part of the contract package for construction of the first nuclear power plant in the Arab Republic of Egypt.
The opening ceremony of the course was attended by Mohamed Ramadan, Deputy Chairman of the Board of Directors for Operation and Maintenance of the Egyptian Nuclear Power Plants Authority (NPPA), Vladimir Artisyuk, Advisor to Rosatom CEO, Valery Karesin, Director of Educational Projects of Rosatom, Grigory Sosnin, Vice President - Director of El Dabaa NPP Construction Project, Dmitry Pashevich, First Deputy General Director of Rusatom Service JSC, Yury Seleznyov, Principal of Rosatom Technical Academy. During the event, the participants were familiarized with the places of training and accommodation of trainees, attended the first Russian language class, discussed the issues of training of El-Dabaa NPP personnel.
The training program for personnel of the nuclear power plant under construction in Egypt will start with a Russian language course, which the trainees will study for six months. 465 Egyptian trainees will undergo the course. Then, the Egyptian specialists will start academic learning of materials of the reference NPP, undergo practical training and internships at Leningrad NPP-2 and on-the-job training. In total Rosatom SC will train about 1700 specialists under the project by 2028. The training will take place at the Rosatom Technical Academy in Russia and at the Nuclear Power Plant Training Center in Egypt.
"We are grateful to Rosatom for its unique comprehensive proposal to develop nuclear technologies in our country. We have ambitious plans in this area," said Mohamed Ramadan, Deputy Chairman of the Board of Operations and Maintenance of the Egyptian Nuclear Power Plant Authority (NPPA), General Manager of the El Dabaa NPP project management at the opening ceremony of the training course. “We understand that training of two thousand highly qualified specialists with internships at an operating reference nuclear power plant requires a lot of resources. A step towards this cooperation was made more than ten years ago, when the first group of Egyptian specialists came to train at the Technical Academy (a former Central Institute for Advanced Training). It was an important moment for both sides, symbolizing that our cooperation was developing in a positive way."
"Egypt is a developed technological country that can become a leader on the continent, addressing a global energy challenge in partnership with Russia," stressed Vladimir Artisyuk, advisor to Rosatom SC CEO. “There are many young people here who aspire to get good jobs in the future, and the state government is actively working on the youth agenda at the international level. Since 2017, Egypt has been organizing the World Youth Forums on an annual basis, involving the UN top leadership, and from 2019 - the IAEA top leadership. Hence, Egypt is developing wide-ranging national projects, including in the field of energy, in nuclear power as well. The country has a reason to become an energy producer for Africa. Summarizing these trends, Egypt can make a significant contribution to the UN global sustainable development agenda, both in terms of access to affordable energy and in terms of combating greenhouse gas emissions.
Grigory Sosnin, Vice President - Director of El-Dabaa NPP Construction Project of ASE JSC noted the importance of timely training of personnel for the NPP under construction. "This is a long-awaited event for us. The great Russian commander Alexander Suvorov said that learning is light and ignorance is darkness. Russia will become a second homeland for Egyptian students, and nuclear knowledge will bring light to your homes," he said.
According to Yuri Seleznyov, Principal of the Rosatom Technical Academy, in order to improve the quality of training of the customer personnel, the St. Petersburg branch was additionally equipped with training facilities and its IT-infrastructure was upgraded. Operators with many years of experience in working at NPPs and young specialists who have completed a long course of technical training, internship at NPPs and are fluent in English, were among the instructors who were trained for the training. It is also expected, that the analytical simulator will be commissioned at the branch site by the end of the year. In addition, as part of the investment project to develop the Technical Academy, the living conditions of the trainees have been improved, taking into account the cultural specifics of the Arab country.
Rosatom SC pays special attention to the development of Russian-Egyptian cooperation at the university level. In particular, joint educational programs of MEPhI and Tomsk Polytechnic University with Egyptian universities in the areas of bachelor's and master's degrees are implemented. In addition, since 2018, professors and employees of Cairo, Alexandria and Ain Shams universities involved in training personnel for the nuclear industry participate in professional development courses in the Train-The-Trainers format, which are conducted by the Rosatom Technical Academy.
"Today is a historic day for the trainees from Egypt as they are linking their lives with the nuclear power industry, and from our side we have to do everything possible to help them succeed," said First Deputy General Director of Rusatom Service JSC Dmitry Pashevich.
El-Dabaa Nuclear Power Plant is the first Egypt nuclear power plant, which will be built in El-Dabaa, in Matrouh Province, on the Mediterranean Sea, about 300 km northwest of Cairo. The facility is being designed and built by the Engineering Division of Rosatom State Corporation.
The NPP will consist of 4 power units of 1200 MW each with generation 3+ VVER-1200 (pressurized water reactors). This is the latest generation technology, which already has references and works successfully. Four units with such reactors are now operating in Russia, at the Novovoronezh and Leningrad NPPs, with two reactors on each. Outside Russia, one VVER-1200 power unit was powered in November 2020 at the Belorussian NPP.
The nuclear power plant is being built under a package of contracts that came into force on December 11, 2017. According to the contractual obligations, Russian will not only build the plant, but will also supply its nuclear fuel for the entire NPP life cycle, and also assist Egyptian partners in personnel training and support in NPP operation and maintenance during the first 10 years of its operation. As part of another agreement, Russia will build a special-purpose storage facility and supply the spent nuclear fuel storage containers.
***Rusatom Service JSC is a member of the Electric Power division of Rosatom State Corporation. The company provides a full range of services and supplies required for operation and repair to foreign VVER NPP. The company is present in almost every country with operating VVER NPP outside Russia.
Rusatom Service JSC holds leading market positions in China, Bulgaria and Armenia and acts as a general contractor for lifetime extension, planned preventive maintenance and VVER NPP equipment upgrade.