Egypt will begin taking bids in February to build the country's first nuclear reactor, the state-run news agency reported Saturday. Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak announced plans for the nuclear power project last year, saying it would diversify Egypt's energy resources and preserve the country's oil and gas. He said the reactor would be for peaceful, power-generating purposes only and that Egypt would not seek a nuclear bomb. The project is expected to cost between US$1.5 and 1.8 billion dollars. "The type of reactor and its constructor will be chosen according to international safety standards and reputation as well as costs," MENA quoted Abdel Mohsen Morsi Metwalli, director of nuclear engineering at Alexandria University, as saying Saturday. "The offer is open to all countries."