Word on the Street

Ahmad Aboul-Wafa
4 Min Read

Gamal Mubarak drops the bomb: Egypt wants nuclear power

CAIRO: While the recent annual National Democratic Party meeting tackled a number of issues, perhaps the most covered was the announcement by Gamal Mubarak that Egypt plans to restart its civilian nuclear power research program.

The government s Supreme Council for Energy met on Sunday for the first time in 18 years to discuss alternative energy options. Minister of Electricity Hassan Younes told state-owned Al-Ahram newspaper that the country could have an operational power plant within 10 years if the project is approved.

Speaking to Al-Mehwar television, Francis J. Ricciardone, the U.S. ambassador to Egypt, commented that The United States encourages the peaceful use of nuclear power for civilian purposes throughout the world.

We’ve heard from the Americans, but what do the Egyptian people make of the announcement? Are they happy with this development or do they have their own fears? The Daily Star Egypt took to the streets to gauge the public’s view.

I think it is a necessary step. The fuel market is getting bigger but oil and natural gas are non-renewable sources of energy. Prices are getting higher every year. We should look for another source of energy that lasts for a longer period.Mamdouh, petroleum engineer

Energy is the indicator for development. We can say that a country is independent when it controls the energy sources needed for its industrial projects. This eventually will lead to economic development.Amira, science student

If it is true, it will be another revolution. We should have another source for electricity other than the High Dam. If anything happened to the High Dam it would be disastrous.Saeed, civil servant

I think we are late in taking such step. Other countries are already using nuclear energy. A country like Egypt should have had nuclear energy a long time ago. I hope we can start it immediately without waiting for as long a time as it took to take the decision itself.Mohammed, pharmacist

I am quite sure that we can produce nuclear energy. We have many scientists everywhere in the world. Egyptians can do anything when they want to do it.Mayada, student

Many people are happy with the announcement. Many others are taking it as a joke. But I actually see it as a way to let the United States control the Egyptian government more and more. One day after Gamal Mubarak’s announcement we read a headline saying the United States doesn’t mind Egypt having nuclear technology. If it is our right, why should we care about the United States’ opinion?Karem, businessman

I think it is just a method to make Gamal Mubarak shine as Egypt’s savior. In the middle of all the nuclear arguments between Iran and the West, we find Mubarak’s son saying we will have nuclear technology for peaceful use. Not only this, but miraculously we saw no reaction from Israel. I think I have the right to be suspicious.Tamer, civil servant

What nuclear energy are you talking about? I can hardly earn my livelihood. I run in a closed circle to feed my family. These people don’t feel what we feel. Let them dream.Amin, civil servant

I think we have the right to be ambitious. Egypt won’t have such technology tomorrow. We will take years to start it. But what I am afraid of is the propaganda accompanying the idea itself. Iran didn’t use media to produce nuclear energy.Mai, engineer

The views expressed in Word on the Street do not necessarily reflect the views of The Daily Star Egypt.

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