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Dabaa nuclear station project crisis escalates

Local residents storm the project site of a state nuclear power plant in an escalation to a crisis that dates back to the presidency of Mubarak

Zeinab El Gundy, Monday 16 Jan 2012
Dabaa project
Dabaa project (Photo:Internet)
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Dabaa locals stormed the site of the Dabaa nuclear station project on Sunday, as well the buildings of the Egyptian Atomic Energy Authority in an escalation to a stand-off between the locals and the government.

The protesters started a sit-in outside Dabaa plant in Marsa Matrouch on Egypt’s Mediterranean coast on Friday, before storming the premises on Sunday. They are currently refusing to leave the location until their demands are met and the project is terminated.

According to news reports, on Sunday the locals blew up some of the buildings belonging to the Egyptian Atomic Energy Authority, allegedly using dynamite.

The governor of Marsa Matrouh former Lt.General Taha Mohamed El Siyad had an urgent meeting on Monday with civilian society representatives, including tribal leaders and some of the protesters, as well as local members of parliament in order to find a solution to the crisis.

The governor revealed in the meeting that the government was going to compensate the locals for the land, while members of parliament suggested that the nuclear project be transferred to another location.

On the other hand, the workers’ union of the Egyptian Automatic Energy Authority accused the governor of deceiving the people of Dabaa, telling them a month ago that the project would take up just 2.5 square kilometres of land, while in reality it will take up 50 square kilometres owned by the authority.  

The military police clashed with hundreds of protesters on Friday, with 13 people reportedly wounded.

The nuclear station in Dabaa project has been controversial since its announcement under ousted president Mubarak. The project met with opposition from the local community and tourism developers in the area who raised environmental concerns about the potentially devastating effects of the nuclear station.

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