Nuclear energy in Egypt
President Adly Mansour announced on 7 November 2013 that Egypt was restarting its nuclear power program in El Dabaa; a deal was reached with the residents in which it was agreed that a residential area will also be built. The Egyptian minister of electricity, Ahmed Emam, has called the project "necessary" because of a small amount of renewable energy sources and not enough fuel.
The Egyptian nuclear power program was started in 1954. The first nuclear reactor ETRR-1 was acquired from the Soviet Union in 1961. It was opened by Gamal Abdel Nasser at Inchass, Nile Delta. The disposal of its spent fuel was controlled by the Soviets.
In 1964, a 150 MWe nuclear power station was proposed, followed by a 600 MWe proposal in 1974. The Nuclear Power Plants Authority (NPPA) was established in 1976, and in 1983 the El Dabaa site on the Mediterranean coast was selected. The nuclear program was then rejected just after Egypt's defeat by Israel in the Six-day War in 1967 and the weakening of the Egyptian economy.
In 1968 Egypt signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty but postponed ratifying it citing evidence that Israel had undertaken a nuclear weapons program. Consequently, Egypt lost many of its nuclear experts and scientists who had to travel abroad to seek work opportunities. Some of them joined the Iraqi nuclear program and others emigrated to Canada.
Egypt's nuclear plans were frozen after the Chernobyl accident. In 2006, Egypt announced it would revive its civilian nuclear power programme, and within 10 years build a 1,000 megawatt nuclear power station at El Dabaa. It was estimated to cost US$1.5bn, and it would be constructed with the participation of foreign investors. In March 2008, Egypt signed with Russia an agreement on the peaceful uses of nuclear energy.
As of 2012[update], after years of stop-start efforts, Egypt’s nuclear energy ambitions were once again in flux. El Dabaa had been targeted by protesters who were claiming that their land was wrongly taken by the government to make way for the nuclear plant. As of 2012[update], as a result of those protests, the site was shut down. The Morsi government did not make any statements about its plans for the plant since construction was suspended.
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- FAS - Egypt Nuclear Program
- NTI - Egypt Profile
- The nuclear tipping point: why states reconsider their nuclear choices