Friday, March 18, 2011

Regarding the Nuke disaster in Japan

First of all my heart and thoughts with the dear Japanese people who have been always supportive to Egypt and the Egyptians.

Second I think what is happening in Japan in Fukushima is warning to the whole world. The Japanese are doing the best they can and yet they know it could be ended in a disaster and another Chernobyl. We have to rethink about the nuclear energy now more than anytime especially in Egypt.

Minister Hassan Yonis said that the Dabaa Nuclear plant project will be completed regardless of the current situation and I will not hide my fears now despite I have been one of the Dabaa nuclear plant project supporters. Do not misunderstand me , I am with the nuclear energy researches but I am concerned about the safety measures also knowing that Egypt has got its share from fault lines and Alexandria had that powerful great earthquake that completely destroyed it in ancient times added to it the fearful scenes from Japan… it is just scary . I do not know if Dabaa is on a fault line but we can live without now.

Economically I think the ministry of electricity must forget this nuclear ambition till God knows when due to our financial sources , we are in deep trouble , our priorities now should be focuses on other projects.

Despite being a big supporter to the Dabaa , I just wonder why we do not invest and start depending on God’s greatest gift to Egypt : The sun. The solar energy should be adopted in Egypt , it will not cost a lot of money like the nuclear plants and it will provide more job opportunities and also can be exported. Of course what is even more greater than all these advantages the solar energy is clean , Safer and renewable.

I do not know why it has to be in Japan again but I think the world must listen to the warnings concerning the Nuclear energy.


  1. A very good opinion indeed.
    It may be supportive to remember that Germany generates 2% of its Electric from solar energy, which is expected to reach as high as 25% by 2050. And they plan to replace nuclear by solar sources in this context.

    We have a more shinny clear weather.
    And we use far less power than the industrialized Germany.

    Can we campaign for your call some way or another so it can be put into action?

  2. The talk about nuclear energy is emotional, and is used by politicians and the media to scare and mobilize public. Decisions about energy should be based on sound engineering practices and not reactions to changing events. When the Green party in Germany joined the coalition government in the 1990s, the government issued a moratorium to phase out nuclear energy, yet until last week energy in Germany was 20% nuclear. USA percentage is similar or slightly less. Today, and probably for the next 50 years, nuclear is the number 1 carbon-free source of energy.

    Electric energy is generated, transmitted, distributed, measured, controlled and consumed. There is always a need for a huge bulk available 24/7 (called base load) to feed factories and vital utilities. It is true, solar power is promising, yet the highest capacity of solar (concentrated thermal power plants) is 5 MW. To compensate for one nuclear plant say of 1500 MW, you will need 300 solar plants (plus extra to cover transmission losses) to satisfy day-time load. There are a plenty of problems to be solved for resourceful and tech savvy Germany . It is much tougher for Egypt without manufacturing base.

    To put things in prospective, the 14000 casualties in Japan died because of tsunami and earthquake, 5 died because of explosion in nuclear plant. This is not to say Egypt should go nuclear, rather to say our reaction should be rational. Issues to be considered are the suitability of infrastructure, technology, skills and training, finance, etc. Jumping into a political or erratic popular decision without basis is a social disaster.

    It might be a good idea to champion a campaign to recreate the first ever concentrated solar thermal plant, which was built in Egypt 100 years ago. Yet, on the same time keep nuclear option open for analytical evaluation instead of a vote.

  3. Daniel Jackson3/19/2011 12:49:00 PM

    Thank you Zeinobia for your opinion. As someone living in Germany I can only sympathise with it. Human beings make mistakes, technology has its flavs, things happen that you would never thought they could. A technology that requires absolutly no mistakes is nothing for humanity as mistakes always happen. It is only a question of time as we can see in Japan these days. Nuclear power is never save plus the waste created is radioactive for a thousand generations. It cannot be stored savely.

    Here in Germany we already produce about 16.9 percent of our electricity from renewable energy sources. As the government switched of half of our nucear power plants (temporarily for 3 month) due to safety reasons in the last two days, lights are still on and my PC is working. As a matter of fact we have more Renewables now than nuclear power. And our energy from renewable sources is already the same price as "normal" electricity including nuclear. The price can be even less in the future.

    Last monday we had more than a hundred thousand people protesting all over Germany in more than 400 cities to switch off all nuclear power plants. Next monday we expect demonstrations in more than 650 cities. For next saturday we will have some major demonstrations in the capitol of Berlin and the lage cities of Hamburg, Cologne and Munich. I think is is save to say that Germany is pushing forward to 100 percent renewable electricity as soon as possible. We have to kick our governments asses but we are willing to do so and force them to move into the right direction.

    As someone coming to Egypt quite often I can only wonder why this great country wishes to build a nuclear power plant. This is dangerous technology from the past. Egypt is looking into a bright future. Why not use the unlimited ressources from the sun, the wind (and of course the water from lake naser)? You are lucky as the sun is shining in Egypt all the year and the wind is blowing at your coasts. You have perfect opportunities, much better than we have. Make something of it. If we can move towards 100 percent Renewables, you surely can.

  4. Daniel:

    Nuclear plant will be an extension for research mainly not for generating power, I think we have the right to do research..don't you? especially when you have a potential enemy with no morals possessing 200 nuclear heads and loves to threaten you every now and then.


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