Younis said the authority was carrying out studies to upgrade and modernise seismographs used to measure tremors and earthquake activity at the site at El- Dabaa, west of Alexandria.

At the same time, the Nuclear Materials Authority is assessing uranium reserves at nine sites across the country to determine the economic feasibility of extracting the nuclear fuel. The study is being carried out in co-operation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the UN’s nuclear watchdog.

Younis added that the ministry had prepared a draft nuclear bill outlining future relations and co-operation between Egypt and the IAEA.

“The bill, which will be presented to the government for approval in March, sets a legal framework for co-operation with the IAEA until 2030,” he said.

El-Dabaa was selected as the site for Egypt’s first nuclear power plant in 1983, but the project was abandoned after the Chernobyl disaster in 1987.