|Africa News Digest
Egypt's Energy Council Approves Plans for Nuclear Energy
Egypt's Higher Council of Energy approved plans to use non-conventional energy sources, including nuclear energy, at its first meeting, according to the Egyptian State Information Service Sept. 25. Headed by Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif, the council decided that nuclear energy was a pressing need, since conventional energy sources are insufficient to meet Egypt's needs. The meeting, which included the ministers for defense, finance, petroleum, electricity, economic development, foreign affairs, environment, housing, and trade and transportation, decided to form a mini-cabinet of five ministers, which will meet after Ramadan, which began Sept. 23.
Meanwhile, the Egyptian Council of Foreign Affairs (ECFA) hailed the government's decision to build nuclear power plants. The ECFA's Abdel Ra'ouf el-Ridi said it has decided to form its own commission of experts to prepare a detailed report on means of supporting Egypt's development of peaceful nuclear technology.
Minister of Electricity and Energy Hassan Younes told Egypt's Al Ahram daily that within ten years of launching a nuclear energy program, Egypt would have an operational reactor. It has plans for a 1,000 MW reactor to be built at El Dabaa, on the Mediterranean coast. Younes said the construction would cost $1.5 billion.
The independent daily Al Masry Al Youm reported that the government has plans to build three reactors for a total capacity of 1,800 MW. Quoting unnamed officials, the daily wrote that the three reactors could be built by 2020.