The core catcher is one of the main elements of the power unit passive safety systems, it is part of all the up-to-date nuclear power units with III+ generation VVER-1200 reactors.
On November 19, specialists started to install the core catcher body at Unit 2 of El-Dabaa NPP in the Arab Republic of Egypt (the general designer and general contractor being Rosatom State Corporation Engineering Division).
The official ceremony dedicated to the commencement of the core catcher installation was attended by Dr. Amged El-Wakeel, Board Chairman of Nuclear Power Plants Authority of the Arab Republic of Egypt (NPPA), Eng. Mohamed Ramadan, Deputy Board Chairman of NPPA, Mr. Andrey Petrov, Rosatom State Corporation First Deputy General Director for Nuclear Energy - ASE JSC President, Mr. Alexey Zhukov, ASE JSC First Vice President for Construction, Mr. Alexey Kononenko, ASE JSC Vice President - Director for the El-Dabaa NPP Construction Project, as well as project teams of the Rosatom Engineering Division and the Nuclear Power Plants Authority of Egypt.
“Our project continues to develop rapidly. The installation of the core catcher at power unit two is one of the key construction milestones planned for 2024, which was completed ahead of schedule in November 2023. It is worth mentioning that less than two months ago, namely in October, we installed a core catcher at power unit one which demonstrated almost simultaneous construction of the first and second power units. By the end of this year, we plan the first concreting in the foundation slab of power unit four; therefore, it will spell the end of the preparatory period of and the transition to, the main stage of the four-unit El Dabaa NPP construction. This is the result of the coordinated work of the Owner and the General Contractor's united team”, said Andrey Petrov.
Dr. El-Wakeel expressed his appreciation to all the workers from the Egyptian and Russian sides, adding that “what the El-Dabaa Nuclear Power Plant site is witnessing today is not the result of coincidence, but rather the consequence of diligent and unrelenting efforts from all Project participants working day and night in order to reach the Project’s milestones. This could not have been achieved without determination, persistence and ceaseless diligent work.”
The core catcher consists of several elements whose total weight amounts to 700 tons.
In October 2023, the similar equipment was installed at power unit No. 1.
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, one power unit of Belarus NPP with VVER-1200 reactor was connected to the grid in November 2020.
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.
Russia is consistently developing international trade and economic relations, focusing on cooperation with friendly countries. Despite external restrictions, the domestic economy is augmenting its export potential to supply goods, services and raw materials all over the world.
For reference:
Rosatom State Corporation Engineering Division unites the leading companies of the nuclear industry, namely: Atomstroyexport JSC (Moscow, Nizhny Novgorod, branches in Russia and abroad), Joint Design Institute - Atomenergoproekt JSC (Moscow, Nizhny Novgorod, St. Petersburg branches - design institutes, branches in Russia and abroad, R&D branches) and subsidiary construction organizations.
The Engineering Division ranks first in the world by the order portfolio and the number of NPPs constructed simultaneously across the world.
About 80% of the Division’s revenues originate from foreign projects.
The Engineering Division implements construction projects for high-power NPPs in Russia and across the world, renders a full range of EPC, EP, EPC(M) services including project management and design activities, and develops Multi-D technologies for the management of complex engineering facilities. The Division relies on the achievements of the Russian nuclear industry and innovative state-of-the-art technologies.
We construct reliable and safe NPPs with Gen III+ VVER reactors that are in line with all international requirements and recommendations.

Source: Communications Unit of Engineering Division of ROSATOM