Egypt’s first nuclear power plant is to be built on the Mediterranean coast, ending a year of controversy over its possible location.
The decision today also ends attempts by tycoons with strong ties to the ruling family to build resorts on the el-Dabaa site selected for the plant. The whole coast is known for its attractive beaches.
President Hosni Mubarak made the decision after delays caused by concerns over the environmental impact of the plant.
Hassan Younis, the Egyptian minister of electricity, said the decision is meant to “prioritise national interests and gives a big boost to the Egyptian nuclear program.”
Mr Mubarak first announced plans for nuclear power plants in 2007, reviving a programme that was publicly shelved in the aftermath of the 1986 accident at a Soviet nuclear plant in Chernobyl.
He also pledged Egypt was not seeking to develop nuclear weapons.
This summer has seen major power cuts in many Egyptian cities. The blackouts have stoked Egyptian anger toward the government, which has already come under fire this year for rising inflation, and cooking gas and bread shortages.