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Egypt and nuclear proliferation : oil and gas in the Middle East and North Africa

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  1. The energetic situation of Egypt
    1. Weak energetic resources
    2. Dependence on fossil energies
    3. The Egyptian electricity sector
    4. The challenges posed by the management of energy in Egypt: Environment and Technology
  2. The nuclear choice
    1. A civilian nuclear program costs
    2. Necessity to cover electricity demand in Egypt
    3. A more secure and ecological choice

This assignment is based on an article published in the Middle East Economic Survey at the end of December last, entitled 'North Africa Nuclear Plans'. Considering the particular situation of Egypt, it outlines the incentives for this country to pursue a nuclear power program. Egypt is a developing country, with a particular geographic and geopolitical situation. Egyptian demand for power has continued to rise rapidly as a result of demographic and economic growth. The shortcomings of hydroelectric power, which used to provide more than 25% of Egypt's electricity, were highlighted in 1988 during the water crisis, that followed eight years of drought in the catchment areas of the River Nile. In response, the government launched a crash program to build power stations that would depend on locally produced natural gas, with the additional bonus that oil would be saved for export. All oil-fired power stations have now been converted to run on natural gas as their primary fuel. The Ministry of Electricity and Energy is implementing plans to bring on stream new power generating capacity over the next ten years. Nuclear plans in the 1980s, including a nuclear power station at Al Dabaa, were shelved owing to cost and safety considerations.

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