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    Egypt to build several nuclear power plants

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    CAIRO, October 29 (RIA Novosti) - Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak announced on Monday that a program will soon be launched to build several nuclear power plants in the country, national news agency MENA reported.

    Mubarak said a decree would soon be issued establishing a supreme council on peaceful uses of nuclear energy, which will oversee Egypt's nuclear plant program.

    "We believe that energy security is a key component of building the future of this country, and an integral part of Egypt's national security," Mubarak said.

    He said the use of nuclear power would enable Egypt to meet its energy needs and diversify sources, allowing the country's hydrocarbon reserves to last longer.

    Egypt intends to build three nuclear plants with aggregate capacity of 1,800 MW, or 600 MW each. The first plant is expected to go online in 2015-16.

    Russia earlier announced its intention to take part in a tender to build an atomic power plant in Egypt.

    Russia's nuclear power equipment and service export monopoly Atomstroyexport is currently building five nuclear power plants in China, India and Iran, on contracts worth $4.5 billion, and has also won a tender to build a plant in Belene, Bulgaria.

    The company is in talks on building nuclear plants in Morocco, Vietnam, and South Africa.

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