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Egypt announces site of planned nuclear plant

Egypt announced on Wednesday it would build its planned nuclear power plant on the Mediterranean coast of el-Dabaa which it hopes will start production in 2019, the state news agency MENA reported.



Cairo: Egypt announced on Wednesday it would
build its planned nuclear power plant on the Mediterranean
coast of el-Dabaa which it hopes will start production in
2019, the state news agency MENA reported.

Presidential spokesman Suleiman Awad said President
Hosni Mubarak had decided in a meeting that the reactor would
be located in el-Dabaa, on the coast west of the port city of
Alexandria.
The meeting was "extremely important and represents
a transition on the path to implement a strategic programme to
ensure power supplies and peaceful uses for nuclear energy,"
the agency quoted Awad as saying.

An electricity and energy ministry spokesman said
the government hopes the powerplant would be linked to the
national grid in 2019.

He said the ministry would open an international
tender for the plant which will be decided by the end of this
year.

"We hope it will be up in 2019," said Aktham Abu
el-Ela. "You know we have a crisis when it comes conventional
fuel. This will be a stable source of energy," he said.

Electricity minister Hassan Younis had earlier
estimated it would cost about USD four billion for a 1,000
megawatt powerplant.
Egypt has already used several foreign companies as
consultants, including French nuclear reactor producer Areva
and US giant Westinghouse Electric Co.

Ela said the Dabaa plant would be followed by three
other reactors, tentatively scheduled to start production in
2025.

On a visit to Cairo in June, Yukiya Amano, head of
the UN`s International Atomic Energy Agency, said the nuclear
watchdog was ready to assist Egypt, which signed the Nuclear
Non-Proliferation treaty in 1981.

Egypt first started its atomic programme in the
1980s but froze it after the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster
in the Ukraine.

Mubarak had in March ratified a law to regulate
nuclear activities as the country of 80 million moves away
from conventional fuels amid a growing strain on its power
grid and depleting oil reserves.

PTI

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