IAEA paying ‘Close Attention’ to Egypt’s Nuclear Plant Plans: Director

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is paying close attention to the nuclear power plant Egypt seeks to construct, the agency’s director told Prime Egyptian Minister Ibrahim Mahlab on Tuesday.

In a Cairo meeting IAEA director Yukiya Amano said that cooperation with Egypt is already underway in construction, training and conducting workshops about nuclear energy, Al-Ahram newspaper reported.

Cairo will be hosting a regional workshop from 13-16 April on nuclear security in Arab countries.

Mahlab said the nuclear plant is “a hope for all Egyptians,” and thus Egypt seeks technical support and cooperation with the agency to ensure safety procedures are followed, cabinet spokesman Hossam Qawish said.

Mahlab stressed the importance of making the Middle East free of nuclear weapons, which not only pose a threat to the region but to the whole world.

Plans to build a nuclear power plant in Dabaa, close to the western coastal city of Marsa Matrouh, first emerged during the era of ousted president Hosni Mubarak, but never took off.

In 2013, interim president Adly Mansour announced the project would be re-launched.

In February, Russia signed a memorandum of agreement to help Egypt build the Dabaa power plant, and shortly after a delegation of Egyptian experts travelled to Moscow for consultations over financial and technical aspects.

The US has announced it is not opposed to any possible Egyptian-Russian deal as long as obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, to which Egypt is a signatory, and obligations to the IAEA are fully met.

Source: Ahram Online