The Multinational Monitor


G L O B A L   N E W S W A T C H

Egypt Moves into Nuclear Arena

Egypt's recent nuclear agreements with the United States and France have brought closer to reality the Egyptian Power Ministry's goal of having eight nuclear power plants supply 40 percent of the country's electricity by the year 2000.

In February, Egypt ratified the U.S.-sponsored Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), thereby fulfilling the requirements necessary to purchase nuclear fuel and technology from countries party to the treaty-including Australia, Canada, Japan, the U.K., the USSR, and the U.S.

Negotiations with Westinghouse Electric Corporation for the purchase of two nuclear power plants, which had been suspended in 1979 when Egypt would not accept U.S. inspection requirements, were reopened in March. Egypt has agreed to pay U.S.$2 billion for the two Westinghouse reactors, which will each have a capacity of one million kilowatts.

The first will be located in Sidi Kerair, on the northern coast of Egypt, and is scheduled to begin operation in 1988despite local opposition to the plan to place the plant so close to Alexandria-a Mediterranean port, industrial center and resort. Egyptian newspapers report that the other Westinghouse plant should be on line in 1989.

Arrangements are also being made for a similar purchase of two Framatome reactors from France, along with fuel supplies and technical training. Additional fuel may come from the U.S. and Australia.

When asked if the recent Israeli bombing of a nuclear plant under construction in Iraq would affect Egypt's plans, a spokesperson at the Egyptian embassy in Washington replied, "No one should replan schemes based on the activities of another country."

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