Keep Us Strong WikiLeaks logo

Currently released so far... 5408 / 251,287

Articles

Browse latest releases

Browse by creation date

Browse by origin

A B C D F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W Y Z

Browse by tag

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
QA
YM YI YE

Browse by classification

Community resources

courage is contagious

Viewing cable 09CAIRO2348, EGYPT'S NUCLEAR POWER PLANT PLANS SUBJECT TO DELAYS

If you are new to these pages, please read an introduction on the structure of a cable as well as how to discuss them with others. See also the FAQs

Understanding cables
Every cable message consists of three parts:
  • The top box shows each cables unique reference number, when and by whom it originally was sent, and what its initial classification was.
  • The middle box contains the header information that is associated with the cable. It includes information about the receiver(s) as well as a general subject.
  • The bottom box presents the body of the cable. The opening can contain a more specific subject, references to other cables (browse by origin to find them) or additional comment. This is followed by the main contents of the cable: a summary, a collection of specific topics and a comment section.
To understand the justification used for the classification of each cable, please use this WikiSource article as reference.

Discussing cables
If you find meaningful or important information in a cable, please link directly to its unique reference number. Linking to a specific paragraph in the body of a cable is also possible by copying the appropriate link (to be found at theparagraph symbol). Please mark messages for social networking services like Twitter with the hash tags #cablegate and a hash containing the reference ID e.g. #09CAIRO2348.
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09CAIRO2348 2009-12-22 13:01 2011-02-16 21:09 CONFIDENTIAL//NOFORN Embassy Cairo
P 221329Z DEC 09
FM AMEMBASSY CAIRO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4520
INFO RHEBAAA/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEHUNV/USMISSION UNVIE VIENNA PRIORITY 0159
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 CAIRO 002348 
 
NOFORN 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/22/2019 
TAGS: AORC EG IAEA KNNP PREL TRGY UN
SUBJECT: EGYPT'S NUCLEAR POWER PLANT PLANS SUBJECT TO DELAYS 
 
REF: CAIRO 1176 
 
Classified By: Minister Counselor for Economic and Political Affairs Do nald A. Blome for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d)
1. (C/NF) Main Points: -- Egypt's first commercial scale reactor is officially slated to come on line in 2020, with three more to be in operation by 2025. The GOE is expected to announce in January 2010 that El Daba on the Mediterranean Coast will be the site of the first plant. -- Nuclear Power Plants Authority (NPPA) Chairman Yassin Ibrahim, however, expressed serious doubts about official GOE timelines and expectations for Egypt's nuclear power program. He believes Egypt lacks the human capacity required to manage the complexities of nuclear safety and development. -- Given Egyptian lack of expertise and predicted delays, nuclear power will be "irrelevant" in meeting Egypt's energy needs for "at least" the next 15 years, according to Ibrahim. Nuclear Energy Policy ---------------------

2. (SBU) In a recent discussion with Econoff, NPPA Chairman Ibrahim said Egypt's current nuclear development posture is a function of a "national energy debate" that President Mubarak, as head of the Supreme Energy Council (SEC), initiated in 2006 and which targeted nuclear and alternative fuels for larger roles as fossil fuel reserves and production wane in the medium and long-term.

3. (C/NF) As a result of this process, the SEC, according to Ibrahim, set a target date of 2020 for Egypt's first commercial scale reactor to come on line, with three more to be in operation by 2025. He indicated that a contract for the first plant is to be put out for bid in 2011, and all contracts scheduled to be signed by 2013, with ground breaking by 2015. First Plant Site ----------------

4.(C) Ibrahim advised that he will recommend to "national authorities" by the end of 2009 a site and construction design type for the nuclear power plant, based on advice from Australian consulting firm Worley Parsons, which the GOE retained in June 2009 (reftel). Ibrahim identified four other possible sites but said the El Daba site on the Mediterranean coast, some thirty miles west of WWII's El Alamein battlefield, is the most likely to be chosen from among five competing sites.

5. (C/NF) Ibrahim said the main opposition to the El Daba coastal site comes from Egyptian businessmen interested in touristic development of the prime beachfront location. Ibrahim said the site announcement has been delayed as he has had to educate senior officials and others on the operational importance of a nuclear plant being next to a water source, for cooling purposes, rather than in inland desert locations less attractive for real estate development. He said the orientation of the El Daba site to local currents and surf patterns would maximize the cooling effect of the water, an operational advantage that makes El Daba the clear front-runner. Reactor Design --------------

6. (C/NF) Ibrahim said he would recommend only "proven" reactor designs, with operational histories of five or more years and exclude all "generation 3" reactors. He added that the choice of design would be made by the SEC, and with the personal involvement of President Mubarak. Ibrahim said the SEC design choice may be a type that includes "a heavy water feature." The choice will in any case be made in early 2010, according to Ibrahim. Obstacles To Force Delays -------------------------

7. (C/NF) Ibrahim said he expects the pace of civilian nuclear power development to be much slower than most GOE officials estimate. He anticipates delays in meeting the 2020 production date for the first plant and believes that the second or third scheduled plants are likely to be delayed "for several years at least" due to logistical, financial, political and other factors. .

8. (C/NF) Ibrahim explained that Egypt is at an especially large disadvantage with regard to "human capacity," lacking in trained professionals "at every level" and in "all sectors" related "even indirectly" to a nuclear power program. Ibrahim stated that Egypt's higher educational system is not capable of closing this capacity gap quickly.

9.(C/NF) Ibrahim thus reasoned that the first three nuclear plants Egypt will need to be turn-key projects, i.e., with design and construction provided wholly by foreign expertise. He added that there would need to be a delay of two to three years between projects so as to permit consolidation of human and physical infrastructure. The net effect, in Ibrahim's view, is that nuclear power will be "irrelevant" to Egypt's energy needs for "at least" the next 15 years, with non-nuclear sources, primarily wind, becoming available "well before" before nuclear. Scobey