Rosatom in the Middle East and North Africa

Rosatom in the Middle East and North Africa

Rosatom in the Middle East and North Africa

Additional information

Rosatom Regional office is located in Dubai (UAE). The Regional Center was opened in 2016 to oversee the activity in the Middle East and North Africa region. Additionally, other country offices have been opened in Turkey and Egypt.

Rosatom projects in Turkey

Akkuyu NPP

Rosatom State Atomic Energy Corporation is implementing the Akkuyu nuclear power plant construction project based on the Intergovernmental Agreement signed between the Government of the Russian Federation and the Government of the Republic of Turkey on May 12, 2010. Akkuyu NPP is under construction in Gülnar district, Mersin province. The plant will comprise four power units equipped with Generation III+ VVER-1200 reactors, 1200 MW each. The design service life of Akkuyu NPP is 60 years and may be extended by another 20 years. This is the largest project in the history of Russian-Turkish relations and one of the world’s largest nuclear construction centers.

After commissioning, the NPP will generate about 35 billion kWh per year, which is enough to supply power to a large metropolitan city like Istanbul. The Akkuyu NPP will cover up to 10% of Turkey’s power demand.

The Akkuyu NPP meets all the latest requirements adopted by the global nuclear community and set forth in the safety standards issued by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and International Nuclear Safety Advisory Group, as well as the European Utility Requirements (EUR).

Current status of the Akkuyu NPP project

The construction of all four power units at the site is taking place concurrently. The first batch of fresh nuclear fuel was delivered to the Akkuyu NPP site on April 27, 2023, which gave the plant the status of a nuclear power facility. To date the following has been achieved: the completion of the concrete pouring of the reactor compartment and the turbine hall’s floor slabs at Unit 1; the installation of the molten core catcher; the installation of the reactor vessel and steam generators in the final position; the completion of the reactor coolant pipeline welding; the installation of the pressurizer, the completion of the assembly and concreting of the inner containment dome; the installation of the core cooling system and the containment prestressing system; the completion of the roof installation and the overhead crane in the turbine hall; and the assembly of the  turbine plant. And at Unit 2, the core catcher has been installed; the concreting of the reactor compartment and the turbine hall foundation slabs has been completed; five inner containment tiers have been assembled; the reactor vessel has been installed in the design position; and the lining of the reactor shaft has been completed. The reinforcement and concreting of the reactor compartment and turbine building foundations  have been completed at the Unit 3 construction site; the core catcher has been installed, four inner containment tiers of the  have been installed; and the cantilever truss has been installed in the reactor compartment. The concreting of the turbine building and reactor building foundation slabs has been completed at the construction site of Unit 4, and the core catcher has also been installed.

Personnel and development of local communities

To date, more than 25,000 people have been employed at the NPP construction site; about 80% of them are Republic of Turkey citizens. The creation of jobs at the Akkuyu NPP project and in related sectors will ensure the growth of the region’s population up to 30,000 people and, consequently, the development of the goods and services market, the transportation and housing infrastructure, hotel business, catering, etc.

In the course of implementing the project a special attention is paid to increasing the emphasis of the local content aimed at attracting the Turkish companies. For this purpose an extended localization working group has been established.

The Akkuyu NPP Personnel Training 

Another area of fast-growing cooperation is the training of Turkish personnel for the future NPP.

Between 2011 and 2023, 319 specialists from Turkey completed training in nuclear and related occupations at Russia’s National Research Nuclear University MEPhI and St. Petersburg Peter the Great State Polytechnic University (SPbPU). In 2023, 53 bachelor graduates from Turkish universities successfully passed admission exams; they will continue their study in nuclear and nuclear-related areas under master’s degree programs at National Research University “Moscow Power Engineering Institute” (NRU MPEI) and the National Research Nuclear University “Moscow Engineering Physics Institute” (NRNU MEPhI).

In February 2023 the construction of a camp for the operational personnel of Akkuyu NPP started. The construction of the camp will solve the issue of personnel accommodation, ensure comfortable living conditions for employees and minimize social risks. The construction camp is designed to accommodate more than 6 thousand people. A kindergarten and a school, stores, restaurants and cafes, a medical center and a pharmacy, sports and social-cultural complexes, as well as a hotel will be constructed in the residential area. There will be children’s and sports grounds and a common recreation area for all residents. The construction will be in three stages; the first stage will result in the commissioning of over 800 apartments, a school for 1,000 students and a kindergarten for 450 children. More than 2,700 apartments will be built as the result of all 3 stages. The construction camp area will cover more than 700 thousand square meters.

Rosatom projects in Egypt

El Dabaa NPP

Currently the El Dabaa NPP is the first nuclear power plant in Egypt to be built in the town of El Dabaa situated in the Matrouh Governorate on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, approximately 300 km north-west from Cairo. It is the largest joint project in power engineering for Russia and Egypt. The NPP will consist of 4 power units 1200 MW each and Generation III+ VVER-1200 reactors (pressurized water reactors). The NPP is being built in accordance with a package of contracts effective from December 11, 2017. Rosatom will not only build the power plant but will also supply Russian nuclear fuel for the entire lifecycle of the nuclear power plant and provide assistance to the Egyptian partners in training of the personnel and support in the power plant operation and maintenance within the first 10 years of its operation. As part of another agreement Rosatom will build a special-purpose storage facility and supply containers for the storage of spent nuclear fuel.

All four units of El Dabaa NPP are currently under construction.

More than 16,000 people are currently employed in the construction of the NPP. The El Dabaa NPP site is the largest NPP construction project in Africa and the world’s largest nuclear construction project (along with Akkuyu NPP in Turkey, where Rosatom is building a four-unit nuclear power plant).

El Dabaa NPP Personnel Training 

In terms of personnel training, Rosatom is already fulfilling its obligations to train the operating personnel of the future plant. In particular, the training is carried out at the St. Petersburg Technical Academy. As part of the project implementation, Rosatom will train approximately 1,700 specialists of the El Dabaa NPP by 2028. The future personnel of the Egyptian NPP will not only study theory but will also pass practical training and probation at a Russian NPP.

Other areas of cooperation

Apart from the flagship project — construction of the El Dabaa NPP, the first nuclear power plant in Egypt — the cooperation in supply of low-enrichment nuclear fuel components for the second research reactor operated in Egypt (ETRR-2) is ongoing. In February 2024, Novosibirsk Chemical Concentrate Plant (NCCP JSC, an enterprise of TVEL Fuel Company, Rosatom) and Egyptian Atomic Energy Authority (EAEA) signed the contracts for the supply of low-enriched nuclear fuel components to Egypt. The cooperation is carried out under the long-term contract for the export of nuclear fuel components for the ETRR-2 reactor in Egypt. The range of products includes the uranium components and items made of an aluminum alloy and aluminum powder.

The cooperation in the area of isotopes is actively developing (Rosatom is the global leader in isotopic products). In particular, Isotope JSC and EGIT – one of the major providers of non-destructive testing services in Egypt – signed the agreement on the development of cooperation in supply of isotopes for industrial purposes in July 2022.

The contract between Rusatom RDS JSC and the Egyptian company Med Pharma Group was signed in June 2023. Under this contract, the parties agree to develop further scientific and technological cooperation and to introduce the application of nitrogen monoxide on the basis of a TIANOX device in the medical practice within the Arab Republic of Egypt.