Egypt to build nuclear power stations

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak said on Monday his country will launch a programme to build several civilian nuclear power stations.

“I declare before you the decision to start a programme to build a number of nuclear power stations to generate electricity,” he said in a televised speech ahead of the annual congress of his ruling National Democratic Party (NDP).

He did not say when the government would start building the stations but added Egypt would cooperate with the United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and other “international partners”.

The United States announced support a year ago for Egypt’s plans to develop peaceful nuclear energy after the idea was floated by Mubarak’s politician son Gamal and then taken up by the president.

Gamal Mubarak said at last year’s annual party conference that Egypt would study developing a peaceful nuclear programme to generate electricity. Opposition groups dismissed his announcement as a media stunt designed to bolster his political credentials.

Analysts and opposition groups say the president is grooming Gamal, the NDP assistant secretary general, to succeed him. Both father and son deny this. - Reuters

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