WikiLeaks releases secret documents on Egyptian nuclear power plant

Whistleblower site WikiLeaks has released documents, published for the first time by Al-Masry Al-Youm, which reveal that an American diplomat recommended that the US use information on the presence of radioactive material in Egypt as a means of applying diplomatic pressure on the country.

The recommendation was made following a report from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) indicating the presence of highly enriched uranium particles. According to one of the documents, the IAEA independently began an investigation into “Egypt’s nuclear files”.

According to the document concerning the “investigation into enriched uranium particles found at the Anshas power plant," dated 5 August 2010, Geoffrey Pyatt, the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs, recommended that the US employ the “implementation of safeguards” report issued annually by the IAEA “to pressure Egypt into being more cooperative in the council and in general leadership."

Pyatt also recommended the US show “its concern over the highly enriched uranium or the intention of enriching it”, as recommended by Israeli Ambassador to the US Michael Orion.

According to another secret document leaked from the US Embassy, Egypt's Minister of Electricity, Hassan Younes, awarded a bid to Australia's Worley Parsons instead of the Bechtel Power Company of the US. Egypt’s Nuclear Power Plant Authority offered a US$188 million contract for ten years for the development of Egypt’s first nuclear power plant.

According to the same document, US Ambassador to Egypt Margaret Scobey met with Gamal Mubarak to discuss the Bechtel issue. Younes then requested a meeting with Scobey. Younes said that the Egyptian government informed Bechtel on 11 April that it was being excluded from the bid after the company repeatedly failed to comply with provisions of the tender. Bechtel was given a final date of 28 April for compliance, but failed to reply until 1 May, he said.

Translated from the Arabic Edition

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