IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano met the President of Egypt Abdel Fattah el-Sisi during an official visit to Cairo on 3 and 4 February. President el-Sisi highlighted his country’s valuable cooperation with the IAEA and said he wished to further strengthen cooperation between Egypt and the IAEA in the peaceful applications of nuclear energy to help the country meet its development objectives.
President el-Sisi talked of the importance of establishing a Nuclear Weapons Free Zone in the Middle East and Mr Amano reiterated the IAEA’s support and willingness to make available its experience in nuclear safeguards.
The two men also discussed Egypt’s interest in using nuclear power to meet increased electricity demand. Mr Amano told President el-Sisi that the IAEA would continue to support Egypt’s efforts to establish the country’s first nuclear power plant at El Dabaa. He emphasised the importance of an IAEA Integrated Nuclear Infrastructure Review mission, scheduled for October this year, noting that recommendations from the expert mission would help Egypt in its preparatory work on the plant.
President el-Sisi said Egypt would observe the highest standards of safety and security in building and operating the nuclear power plant, to be located just west of Alexandria on the country’s Mediterranean coast. He emphasized Egypt’s willingness to share its nuclear related facilities and expertise in the various peaceful applications of nuclear energy with experts from across Africa and the Middle East.
Mr Amano underlined the importance of capacity building in human resources and of developing an effective and independent nuclear regulatory system. The IAEA is supporting the Egyptian Nuclear and Radiological Regulatory Authority in areas such as on-site evaluation of nuclear installations and strengthening regulatory competence.
In a meeting with Egyptian Atomic Energy Authority Chairman Atef Abdel-Fattah, Mr Amano was briefed on the operation and use of the ETRR-2 multi-purpose research reactor, the fuel manufacturing plant for the research reactor and the radioisotope production laboratories. Mr Abdel-Fattah explained the facilities’ contribution to health care, industry and education not only in Egypt, but also in the wider region by hosting experts from across the Middle East.
Mr Amano also met Minister of Electricity and Renewable Energy Mohamed Shaker El-Markabi, Deputy Foreign Minister Hamdi Loza as well as representative of the Regulatory Authority and Nuclear Power Plant Authority.