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Nuclear Safety Cooperation

INSC exploratory mission to Egypt - July 2008 Expert 2

Status
Closed
Egypt
Benefitting Zone
North Africa
€ 9,000.00
EU Contribution
Contracted in 2008
NSI
Programme
Nuclear Safety Instrument

Details

Type of activity

Technical expertise

Nature

Services

Contracting authority

European Commission

Method of Procurement

(FR2007) Single tender - External Actions

Duration

05/07/2008 - 05/09/2008

Partner

Egyptian Atomic Energy Authority (EAEA)

Contractor

STATNI URAD PRO JADERNOU BEZPECNOST

Project / Budget year

INSC Support Expenditure Programme 2008 / 2008

Background

An initiative to extend cooperation under INSC beyond TACIS countries was started by the EC in 2007. To identify the needs of countries which expressed an interest in cooperation in the field of nuclear and radiation safety, a Task Force was formed comprising experts from EU nuclear regulatory authorities.

In order to decide its future strategy for nuclear safety cooperation/assistance to third countries, the EC needs:

  • To identify and describe the key actors in the nuclear safety sector in the countries concerned. These actors are usually the National Regulatory Authorities (NRA), their Technical Support Organisations (TSO), the body in charge of radiation protection and the various ministries (Foreign Affairs, the Ministry on which the NRA is depending, etc)
  • To have an overview of nuclear safety situation in the new potential beneficiary countries and outline an action programme. This should cover what would be needed to bring the existing infrastructure to the level required to adequately regulate the initiation and implementation of a nuclear power programme as decided by the concerned country or, for the countries with existing nuclear power programmes, what would be needed to improve the existing regulatory infrastructure to current IAEA standards. For countries which are planning the start-up or construction of nuclear reactors for the first time, the Commission's assistance would be limited to regulatory assistance (including legislation) and the promotion of an effective safety culture. Assistance concerning emergency preparedness and the establishment of an effective safeguards regime may also be provided in all cases. A further area of assistance that may be considered is the remediation of former nuclear sites not covered by commercial obligations (e.g., disaffected mines).

As a first approach two regions were selected on the basis of geographical proximity and political criteria: Maghreb (Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia) and Machrek (Jordan, Egypt, Emirates).

This summary provides a general explanation of the results of the mission to Egypt applicable to senior expert 1 and the other senior experts (contract numbers 161189, 161313, 161317).

Objectives

The purpose of the contract was to conduct an exploratory mission to help the Commission:

  • To identify the country state of readiness and need of assistance.
  • To jointly develop a cooperation programme for creating or reinforcing the capacities of the national NRA in order to prioritise its future assistance programmes based on the importance of the problems and the geopolitical situation and to define typical assistance packages in the form of an Action Fiche of the Action Programme. Action Fiche is a technical description and justification of a proposed project for the purpose of its endorsement for inclusion in an INSC annual programme.

The work to be performed consisted of:

  • Preparation of the mission in close collaboration with the EC Project Manager.
  • Performance of the mission following instructions of the EC Project Manager.
  • Reporting (Mission Report plus draft Action Fiche) to the EC Project Manager on the achievements of the mission.

The expert's knowledge of nuclear regulatory authority problems around the world was of crucial importance for the success of the mission.

Duties of the Exploratory Mission of the Task Force were:

  • To conduct a “Desktop” Review of the national situations concerning the regulatory aspects.
  • To contact the selected NRA if such organization exists or the organization currently in charge of regulatory matters and collect information on their national objectives and needs.
  • To prepare and propose a draft "(National/Regional) Cooperation Programme" for the creation or reinforcement of the selected RAs.

Results

The exploratory mission was conducted to Egypt from July 7 to 8, 2008 with the aim to identify the present status of nuclear and radiation safety in the country and needs for assistance and support from EU. In particular:

  • The status of nuclear and radiation safety in the country was reviewed and discussed with the Egyptian Atomic Energy Authority (EAEA, established by law in 1955 with the name of Atomic Energy Commission and transformed into EAEA by 1977 reform);
  • The needs for assistance and technical support were discussed and a draft Action Fiche in the frame of INSC action program 2008 was prepared.

According to the discussion during the visit the Egyptian government is seriously considering to use the nuclear option in the country to produce electrical energy and desalinate water in the near future.

One of the pre conditions for the above program is the establishment of the necessary regulatory infrastructure. This means establishment of an independent Nuclear Regulatory Authority (NRA), setting up legislative framework and establishment of technical support organization(s) (TSO) to enhance the NRA capability.

Until now the regulatory and control functions in the field of nuclear safety and radiation protection has been performed by the National Center for Nuclear Safety and Radiation Control (NCNSRC) which is part of the EAEA. The regulatory area consists of usual radiation protection in medicine, industry and science, two research reactors, low and intermediate waste facility and fuel element fabrication plant. Starting of a nuclear program is aimed at providing Egypt with a number of NPP’s for the production of electric energy and desalination. This needs an independent regulatory body, out of the Atomic Authority, able to perform the licensing activities connected with the construction and operation of nuclear plants.

For this reason a draft of Atomic law has been submitted to the Parliament. According to that a NRA (called Nuclear and Radiation Regulatory Authority) is to be created with public juridical personality and financial autonomy reporting directly to the Prime Minister. It is assumed to be centrally located in Cairo and it will be entrusted with regulatory and control functions for safety, security and safeguards related to the nuclear and radiation fields.

After that a package of national regulations and code of practices are to be drafted (partially re-written) to support, integrate and facilitate the implementation of the law in line with the relevant international standards

In general after 50 years of science and use of nuclear energy, a high level technical capabilities appear to be available in Egypt but the regulatory framework should be developed in perspective of incoming activities, especially if the nuclear option will be pursued in the near future.

The needs for assistance are primarily the following:

  • Support in the establishment of independent NRA based on existing infrastructure.
  • Assistance in the field of regulatory framework improvement of the legislative basis and development of regulations and other normative acts.
  • Strengthening and enhancing professional knowledge of NRA and its TSO
  • Nuclear Safeguards.

The Action Fiche for Project EG.01.08 prepared during the meeting was titled “Provision of assistance related to the first cooperation steps for developing and strengthening the capabilities of Egyptian Atomic Energy Authority (EAEA) and its Nuclear Radiation and Regulatory Authority”.

The proposed value of the project was € 1,0 million and the planned duration 24 months, covering assistance in the field of legislation, regulations, new Regulatory Body organization and planning, international project management, regulatory capability, training of staff and safeguards.