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Greenpeace Blasts Egypt for Nuclear Plans

The international environmental organization Greenpeace targets Egypt for its plan to build a nuclear energy plant off the Mediterranean coast.
By Hillel Fendel
First Publish: 8/30/2010, 7:03 PM / Last Update: 8/30/2010, 8:00 PM

Greenpeace.org

The international environmental organization Greenpeace has targeted Egypt for its plan to build a nuclear energy plant off the Mediterranean coast.

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak announced last week his country’s plan to build its first nuclear power plant. It is to be located in Mersa Matrouh, on Egypt’s northern coast, and the decision to build it was reportedly taken in association with the United Nations' International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Three other nuclear plants are to be built afterwards. Work for the international tender to build the plant is underway, and the tender is to be issued in November.

The Mediterranean chapter of Greenpeace announced that it “strongly objects” to the decision. “The idea of developing nuclear energy is dangerous,” the organization states, “as well as expensive and not environmentally-friendly.” The group says that the new plant will be a “grave regional threat.”

Greenpeace has long fought against nuclear power, saying it is “an unacceptable risk to the environment and to humanity.”  The only solution, the organization says, “is to halt the expansion of all nuclear power, and for the shutdown of existing plants.” Nuclear plants lead to lethal high-level radioactive waste, contribute to further proliferation of nuclear weapons materials, and will result in more Chernobyl-scale accidents, Greenpeace declares.

Nuclear energy initiatives also sabotage other initiatives for the advancement of renewable, environmentally-friendly energy sources, Greenpeace states. “We must focus our efforts on renewable sources such as wind, the sun, and geo-thermal energy – making sure to supply our energy needs without endangering our safety.”

Egypt’s plan is for its new nuclear plant to begin operation 10 years from now. Mubarak, whose country is a signatory to the international Non-Proliferation Treaty, emphasized that its nuclear plan is formulated only for the purposes of peace.