Govt plans new metropolis in Al-Alamein

Spokesman for Egypt’s Council of Ministers Magdi Radi announced government plans to build a new city near the northern coastal town of Al-Alamein, located some 80 km from Al-Dabaa, the proposed site for Egypt’s first nuclear plant. The city will be built to house between 2 and 3 million residents, said Radi, and comes within the context of a national plan to build five additional cities by 2050 in order to absorb anticipated population increases.

Radi went on to explain that the development plan for Alamein had four main elements. The first was to attract foreign tourists all year round, since domestic tourism in the region is generally confined to the summer season. The second was the construction of specialized universities and institutes. The third was the building of light industries that would complement agricultural activity in the area, where the main cultivated crops are olives, dates and figs. The fourth is the reclamation of the area’s vast deserts so as to encourage additional agricultural projects.

Former Atomic Energy Authority (AEA) President Ezzat Abdel Aziz insisted that the nearby nuclear plant would not represent a threat to the Al-Alamein city project. "Modern nuclear plants are very safe. They shut down automatically in case of leakage," he said, noting that safety buffer zones around nuclear plants were generally no more than 15 km in radius.

Hisham Ali, another former AEA president, also confirmed the proposed plant’s safety. "All we want to know is whether or not the plant will ever actually be built," he said. "We want to know if it’s true that certain businessmen are trying to thwart the project."

Translated from the Arabic Edition.

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