On July 1, 2024, the Core Catcher for Unit 3 was delivered to the construction site of the El-Dabaa NPP in the Arab Republic of Egypt.


The vessel delivering the components of the Core Catcher for Unit 3 left the port of Novorossiysk and arrived to the construction site of the El-Dabaa NPP at the end of June. Delivery was successfully completed in six days. The total weight of the cargo was more than 480 tons, and the weight of the assembled "melt trap" body was about 150 tons.

"The delivery of this long lead equipment is certainly an important step on the path to the construction of a safe nuclear power plant. This achievement is the result of the joint work of specialists involved in the project for the construction of the first Egyptian nuclear power plant. With the support of the Nuclear Power Plants Authority, the owner entity and future operator, we delivered the Core Catcher for Unit 3 ahead of schedule, and we will now continue working on the next key event scheduled to take place in October later this year, being the installation of the Core Catcher for Unit 3", - said Alexey Kononenko, ASE JSC Vice President – Project Director for construction of the El-Dabaa NPP.

 "We have successfully achieved yet another key milestone within the implementation of the El-Dabaa NPP Project, with the successful delivery of the Core Catcher for Unit 3. The Nuclear Power Plants Authority's experts attended the inspections related to the manufacturing of this long-lead equipment in the Russian Federation, to ensure compliance with the safety and quality standards and the project requirements, prior to its delivery to the site. We look forward to working with our colleagues at ASE JSC towards the successful installation of the Core Catcher for Unit 3, scheduled to take place later this year", – stated Eng. Mohamed Ramadan Badawy, Vice Board Chairman for Operation and Maintenance, and General Supervisor of the El-Dabaa NPP Project at the Nuclear Power Plants Authority.

The core catcher is part of the passive safety system, designed by the Russian Party to prevent the release of radioactive substances into the environment in the event of a severe accident accompanied by destruction of the reactor vessel. The "trap" is a container with a steel casing, which, in the event of an emergency, reliably holds fragments of the core melt and does not allow them to escape beyond the sealed shell of the reactor building.

Inside the "trap" there is a mixture of various substances including special cements, aluminum oxide, gadolinium, etc. As a result of mixing with the melt, these materials ensure its uniform placement in the "trap" body and block the chain reaction. Due to these substances, the core catcher can hold hundreds of tons of corium melt for a long time, the melting point of which reaches 2400 degrees.

For reference:

El-Dabaa NPP is the first nuclear power plant in Egypt which will be built in the city of El-Dabaa, Matrouh province, on the Mediterranean coast, approximately 300 km North-West of Cairo. The NPP will consist of four power units, 1200 MW each, with generation III+ VVER-1200 reactors (pressurized water reactors). This is the newest generation technology which has references and is already operating successfully. There are four operational power units of this generation: two reactors at Novovoronezh NPP and two at Leningrad NPP. Outside Russia, two power units have been put into operation at Belarus NPP.

The NPP is being constructed in accordance with the package of contracts which entered into force on December 11, 2017. In accordance with the contractual obligations, the Russian party will not only construct the power plant but will also supply nuclear fuel for the whole life cycle of the NPP and will provide assistance to the Egyptian partners in training of the personnel and support of operation and service of the plant during the first 10 years of its operation. Under a separate agreement, the Russian party will build a special storage and will supply containers for storing spent nuclear fuel.