Much of the nuclear push in recent reports has focused mainly in other 3rd world countries to build NPPs, which is often fueled by claims that, the only way to sustain their existence is to open their doors to nuclear energy.
In the middle east, Jordan is struggling with support for its first nuclear reactor to supply badly needed electric power amid serious concern over environmental hazards and financial risks the cash-strapped kingdom would have to endure.
Jordan is one of the five driest countries in the world, but the kingdom says it needs nuclear technology to meet growing energy demands and to desalinate water. The government has already been obliged to rescind its original plans to build the reactor near the port city of Aqaba, near the Saudi border, after political pressure from Riyadh.
In Jordan, large-scale water desalination is factored into the Kingdom’s strategy to secure clean water critical for economic growth. But this water is also necessary to cool the reactors. The reactor-generated power will, in turn, desalinate the water.
Opponents of Jordan’s nuclear ambitions claim that potential financial, environmental and health costs outweigh the need to secure the country’s energy independence.
Many citizens quoted as “environmentalists”, or “activists” in the Jordanian press say they want the government to look into alternative methods of power generation using renewable sources such as solar energy or wind power. Several protests have been organized by different environmental groups in the past two months against the plans for nuclear power stations.
Dureid Mahasneh, an activist with Jordan Green Peace, criticized the government’s nuclear plans.
“The government is not putting its national priorities in order. Our first priority is to deal with the water shortage. We might as well move ahead with the Red Sea-Dead Sea project [a canal that would supply 1.4 billion cubic meters of water a year] instead of building nuclear reactors. We do not have enough water to cool them down.”
Despite the fact that the sun shines brightly nearly 90% of the year, inexplicably, Jordan has no commercial-scale solar generation. There have been few proposals for the installation of various wind farm projects, but even fewer turbines have materialized.
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- Tags: Nuclear Energy