CAIRO: Former members of the Egyptian Atomic Energy Authority (EAEA) have warned that the designs of some businessmen on the proposed site of Egypt’s first nuclear power plant in Dabaa were against national interests.
It was in response to comments made by businessman Ibrahim Kamel, who warned of the dangers of building a nuclear plant in the North of Egypt and the dangers it could pose to Cairo and other governorates.
Former deputy head of the EAEA Abdel-Fatah Hilal was quoted as saying in Al-Shorouk newspaper that some businessmen wanted to appropriate the site under the pretext of boosting tourism revenues.
Former head of the agency Mohamed Abdel-Aziz said, “Businessmen should stick to what they know and stay away from science, adding that Kamel’s comments came as a result of comments made by Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif in the past.
Nazif had reportedly said in the past about the proposed site, “Why are they insisting on the Dabaa site? We can invest in tourism in this site – comments which Abdel-Aziz described as irresponsible.
Egypt intends to build its first nuclear reactor at Dabaa, 160 km west of Alexandria. The site will host a 1,000 megawatt nuclear power station. Abdel-Aziz said there were plans to eventually build four of these reactors in total at the site.
Nuclear Scientist and Professor of Nuclear Studies at Helwan University Abdel-Hakim Kandeel previously told Daily News Egypt that Dabba was the most suitable location for the nuclear plant for many reasons and had been the subject of an exhaustive study for over three decades.
He said, “Dabaa is a locale not susceptible to earthquakes, there is little population around it and it is near the shore so you can desalinize water. There have also been environmental studies on the area which conclude it is the most suitable location. “Twelve years from now we will need 63,000 megawatts of electricity and now we only have 21,000 megawatts. It’s a must for Egypt to have nuclear power, Kandeel added.
However, there are environmental concerns regarding the building of a nuclear site, especially one which is not too far from residential areas. Egyptian environmentalists have called for seeking renewable sources of energy before looking into nuclear power.
Egypt had initiated a nuclear program in the 1970s but disbanded it after Russia’s Chernobyl disaster in 1986.