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El-Dabaa nuclear plant unlikely to cause environmental damage: experts - Daily News Egypt

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El-Dabaa nuclear plant unlikely to cause environmental damage: experts

Nuclear reactors are rather cheap compared to other clean sources and have no side effects, say nuclear and environmental experts

By Toqa Ezzidin

In a statement following the signing of El-Dabaa nuclear station agreement, President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi stressed that establishing El-Dabaa nuclear station for peaceful uses is hopeful and a message for Egypt and marks the confirmation of the and strategic relations between Egypt and Russia.

Egyptian presidency spokesperson Alaa Youssef said Russian energy agency Rosatom, the Egyptian organisation for nuclear plants, and Russia’s atomic energy agency signed an agreement Tuesday for El-Dabaa nuclear plant, adding that this project will help Egypt solve its lack of energy sources.

Contrary to popular belief, solar energy is rather expensive and using nuclear energy instead will be significantly lower in cost, nuclear chemistry professor in Helwan University Abdel-Hakim Kandeel told Daily News Egypt.

“The nuclear reactors will be preserved in a building with 1.2 metre thickness to prevent any leaked radiation,” he said. This project will generate new work opportunities and will increase tourism, which is what happened when the High Dam in Aswan was built.

Kandeel said this project was supposed to be executed during the late president Gamal Abdel Nasser’s regime and if it were established, it would have brought in around $200bn.

Former nuclear power head Ezzat Abdel Aziz told Daily News Egypt this power plant has no damage whatsoever and its establishment is currently quite important.

“The non-renewable resources we are relying on now are causing damage to the environment because coal and petrol energy release carbon dioxide in huge amounts,” he said.

Coal, petrol, and natural gas leaks are a major threat to the environment, he said but uranium, which is used in nuclear plants, is safe, clean, abundant, and its usage has no side effects.

Abdel Aziz also said there are too many concerns regarding the establishment of a nuclear plant in Egypt, and stressed that the nuclear plant will be 100% safe because it is a “third-generation” nuclear plant.

“Unlike the nuclear plants established in the 1980’s when the Chernobyl disaster happened, which were ‘second generation’ plants, our nuclear plant will be a third generation plant, the safest in its class,” Abdel-Aziz explained. It is unlikely for any nuclear explosions to occur because the reactor will abort itself in case of any danger.

There are many benefits from the nuclear reactor because it will generate the needed energy for the Suez Canal and help turn salt water into fresh water, which will help the problem of lack of water from Alexandria to Marsa Matruh.

Anything manmade will definitely have side effects; nevertheless the entire world’s energy is operated by nuclear power, environmental sciences professor in Banha University Ahmed Abdel El-Wahhab told Daily News Egypt.

“These side effects can be radiation emitted from the units of the nuclear plants but these emissions will have to be reported immediately and negligence should not be tolerated,” Abdel Wahhab said.

Citing an anonymous source, Al-Youm Al-Sabaa reported that an official in the Ministry of Electricity said the agreement was supposed to be signed at the end of October in the presence of Russian President Vladimir Putin but was delayed due to Russian plane crash.

Talks of nuclear projects with Russia started in the 1960s, during Abdel Nasser’s regime, and the nuclear plant was supposed to be established in the Borg Al-Arab area in Alexandria. However, the project was dismissed due to the 1967 war.

Following the 1973 war, an agreement between Egypt and the US was made but was dismissed after the US imposed political conditions, which former President Anwar El-Sadat did not agree to.

During El-Sadat’s regime in the 1980’s, Egypt agreed with France to establish a nuclear plant but the project was dismissed after the Chernobyl disaster.

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