Electricity ministry to hand report backing nuclear program to Morsy

Electricity ministry to hand report backing nuclear program to Morsy

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Sun, 08/07/2012 - 13:35

The Electricity Ministry has prepared a report for President Mohamed Morsy on the steps necessary for implementing Egypt’s controversial nuclear program.

Minister of Electricity Hassan Younis has reviewed the report, which argues for the implementation of the project. It will be submitted to the cabinet, then the president.

The report says that an important reason for going ahead with a nuclear program is Egypt's increasing demand for electricity, which requires an additional 300 megawatts annually.

It says the drop in both traditional sources of energy and employment opportunities mean Egypt should realise the project, which is economically feasible compared to the alternatives.

The project's specifications have been reviewed to incorporate new specifications following the catastrophic leak at a nuclear reactor in Fukushima, Japan in March 2011, it says.

The report also explains the legal status of Dabaa and provides a study of proposals to transfer the project to another site. According to the report, it is infeasible to move the project after so much time has been invested in conducting studies to prove that the land is suitable for the project.

The report says no other location can be deemed suitable for the project until several studies are conducted, which will cost millions and waste several years.

The report says that the nuclear plant in Dabaa will create jobs and give the area an economic boost as markets will be set up to provide for the needs of the workers, while infrastructure and other educational and recreational services in the area will be developed.

In August 2010, former president Hosni Mubarak ended a lengthy period of speculation by selecting Dabaa, on the north coast, as the location for Egypt’s first nuclear-powered electricity station.

But the site was looted in January 2012 by unidentified persons, and citizens have protested the project’s potential environmental effects. They also said the governor gave them false information about the project, and that land has been taken from them without compensation.

Army forces clashed with the protesters at the site.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm