by Daniel Pipes
January 16, 2012
updated Jan 17, 2012
Egypt Independent reports on vandalizing, looting, and fighting at the nuclear power plant being built at El-Dabaa, a town in the desert to the west of Alexandria. The account draws on an unnamed source at the Ministry of Electricity and Energy who
accused security authorities and the governor of North Sinai of “causing the disaster.” The official said the initial losses were around LE0.5 billion [= US$83 million]. He also accused a businessman and former member in the defunct National Democratic Party of being “behind the chaos,” but did not name the businessman allegedly involved.
The source said the meteorological station, ground water station and many of the offices had been attacked by “organized looters,” who took objects including computers, monitoring devices for earthquakes, furniture, cables and transformers.
On Friday, about 500 residents had rallied demanding the dismantling of the nuclear power plant, saying their land had been confiscated for the project. They say the government did not compensate them for the land it took.
However, other reports suggest that the construction site was attacked by residents of the area angry at the way in which the land for the power plant had been acquired by the government. Residents of Dabaa staged a sit-in on Saturday after clashes with Egyptian military police on Friday. The clashes left 41 people injured, including 29 soldiers, according to state-run newspaper Al-Ahram.
Comments: (1) L’Institut d’Égypte, a nuclear power plant site … the situation has degenerated in Egypt to the point that nothing is safe.
(2) The Islamists lack real power but they appear to be in charge; so as Egypt heads into economic decay and social anarchy, they will receive the blame. Could this be what the crafty military tyrants want, so they can swoop in and “save” the country? (January 16, 2012)
Jan. 20, 2012 update: The news gets worse, with the possibility that radioactive material was stolen:
The UN atomic energy agency issued a statement Thursday saying “the items that have gone missing are low-level radioactive sources. The sources were stolen not from an operating NPP (nuclear power plant), but from a laboratory at a construction site for an NPP that is not yet operational,” the International Atomic Energy Agency said. The Vienna-based agency said it is “in touch with the Egyptian authorities.”
Al-Ahram newspaper reported Thursday that a safe containing radioactive material was stolen from a site in Al-Dabaa, on the Mediterranean coast. Another safe was broken and some of its contents were taken, Al-Ahram said. … It said the team of experts entered the site but “did not find the missing safe. It did, however, find two sources of radioactivity in another safe that had been broken into.”
Source material can be found at this site.