Among other concerns, Al Fayez questions how a state with such little water will be able to cool a reactor situated more than 200 miles from the shoreline, and whether Jordan has sufficient human capital (i.e., enough nuclear physicists) to safely operate the facilities. She has also expressed dismay with the $10 billion price tag, a sum roughly equivalent to Jordan’s total 2013 annual budget
The Middle East’s Next Nuclear Power? It may not be the one you’re thinking about. Politico, By DAVID SCHENKER January 28, 2015 “…….even as Western attention has focused all around Jordan—and especially on the nuclear negotiations with Iran—in a little-noticed series of moves, the Kingdom’s been edging closer to going nuclear itself. In fact, the Kingdom of Jordan, Washington’s most reliable Arab partner, is the latest Middle Eastern state considering nuclear energy that is refusing to relinquish its right to enrich.
To prevent proliferation, the US has long held that Middle Eastern states seeking nuclear energy must forego the right to enrich nuclear material. The principle of no-enrichment has underpinned the so-called “gold standard” of US-bilateral nuclear agreements……..
—in its December 2009 agreement with the US, the United Arab Emirates acquiesced to forego enrichment and reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel……….Over the past four years, the Kingdom has increasingly focused on nuclear energy, in particular the construction of two 1000-megawatt power plants…….Amman’s proposed nuclear facilities have met with opposition both at home and abroad. Washington’s stated opposition to the program revolves around enrichment. Jordan’s resolve to maintain this right has stymied efforts to reach a “123 agreement” governing US international nuclear cooperation……….
Israel, too, has taken issue with Jordan’s nuclear ambitions, primarily due to concerns about safety. Continue reading
Russia approves draft deal to build nuclear plant in Jordan, Times of Israel 25 Dec 14 State-owned company Rosatom expected to finish construction of first 1,000-megawatt unit by 2024, second by 2026 Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev endorsed a draft Russia-Jordan agreement on the construction and operation of a nuclear plant in Jordan, the official website of the Kremlin said on Thursday…….
The state-owned company will form a joint venture with the Jordanian government, in which the Russian company will have 49.9 percent of the shares and Jordan will own 50.1%. The agreement will be financed by investments from both parties……
Chilling radiation exercises by the Dead Sea The Independent 17 Nov 14 “…...The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organisation (CTBTO) has the job of sniffing out any tests of nuclear weapons anywhere in the world, using hundreds of monitoring stations.
In 2013, the CTBTO spotted signals that a blast had shaken a mountain in North Korea. The organisation tweeted its suspicion that the pariah state had tested a bomb, before North Korean officials confirmed it. But even with its sophisticated equipment, and a budget of $130m (£83m) a year, the CTBTO can only suspect a nuclear test. To know for sure, it must get its experts and equipment on the ground.
The exercise in Jordan is the largest the organisation has ever carried out, covering 1,000sq km of desert. It is also a logistical nightmare. Equipment has been shipped from Vienna, and hundreds of experts have been flown in. The cost of the exercise, which runs for several weeks, is around $10m.
One thing stands in the CTBTO’s way: none of the protocols can be carried out for real, as the treaty that the CTBTO is to work under is not yet law. A number of states known to possess nuclear technology, including India, Pakistan and North Korea have not signed and ratified the treaty.
“One way or another we will get this treaty to ratification,” says Dr Lassina Zerbo, executive secretary of CTBTO.
“If it takes a visit to North Korea and that brings an end to nuclear testing, I will do it. Isolation does not work, you need dialogue.” http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/chilling-radiation-exercises-by-the-dead-sea-9863426.html
Jordan turns to wind power in search of renewable energy, Al Monitor, 5 Aug 14 Jordan is carrying out a project to use wind power in Tafila province in the south of the country. The project’s energy production is around 117 megawatts per hour, generating 400 gigawatt hours yearly. The Jordan Wind Project Company (JWPC) will provide the necessary supply for the Jordan Electric Power Company (JEPCO) to carry out the project’s commercial execution in mid-2015, with an estimated cost of around $285 million. JWPC is a joint project between InfraMed (50%), Masdar in Abu Dhabi, UAE (31%) and EP Global Energy (19%). The cost of generating electricity from wind power is estimated at around $120 for every megawatt hour, which is significantly lower than conventional sources of electric power………
The Tafila wind farm project is the first of its kind in Jordan and the region in which a private company uses wind power to generate energy. The project includes installing 38 turbines (3 MW per turbine). The strategy adopted by the energy sector of Jordan aims at having renewable energy rise to 10% of the total energy and reach 8%-10% of the consumed electricity in Jordan by 2020. The Tafila wind farm is expected to generate electricity with a cost 25% lower than thermal energy, which would lower CO2 emissions by 40,000 tons per year.
The Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources is working on launching a second wind-power project. Last week, the ministry signed a contract with the Spanish company Elecnor for a project designed to generate wind-power energy in Maan [south of the capital, Amman.] The available information shows that this project is going to be funded by the Gulf grant program, Kuwait Fund for Economic Development. On this project as well, the Arab funds create a transparency for contracting and covering expenses……http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/business/2014/08/jordan-wind-power-project-energy-consumption.html#
Jordanians fret over ‘dangerous’ nuclear plan Phys Org, 6 Nov 13, by Kamal Taha Jordan’s plan to build its first nuclear plant with Russian help has stirred fresh fears and suspicions as experts called for the “dangerous” and “illogical” project to be abandoned. The government announced late last month that two Russian firms will build and operate a $10-billion (7-billion-euro) nuclear plant, including two 1,000-megawatt reactors.
The plant, to be completed in 2023, will be built in Amra, a desert area north of the capital, the government said.
Energy-poor Jordan says it wants to develop nuclear power to meet its growing needs and to fire desalination plants to overcome its crippling water shortage.
But activists and environmentalists warn that the project is too risky. Continue reading
Professor Steve Thomas, a nuclear policy expert from the University of Greenwich in London, also questions the argument that renewables aren’t a realistic option for Jordan.
“Although the government have been saying that they aren’t viable, what really isn’t viable is their nuclear plans,” he told DW.
Jordanians protest plans to go nuclear. DW 14 June 13, As Jordan works on plans to build its first nuclear plant, protestors are still criticizing the country’s decision to go nuclear in the first place. They say it wastes water and ignores the nation’s renewables potential.
Safa Al Jayoussi, an activist with Greenpeace in Jordan, becomes concerned when she starts to explain why Jordan won’t be able to cope with the country’s impending turn towards nuclear power. She says Jordan is one of the five driest countries in the world and that the new power plans are just going to put the nation under even more pressure.
“Nuclear power plants require large quantities of cooling water, usually from a large river or a large lake,” she told DW. “But, in Jordan, we don’t really have any sources of water.” Continue reading
lawmakers and activists cast doubt over the economic feasibility of the nuclear drive, accusing the JAEC of deliberately underestimating reactor construction costs to “mislead public opinion”.
Participants also called into question the country’s uranium mining ambitions, claiming that the feasibility studies carried out by French firm AREVA, which is currently carrying out an exploration of uranium deposits in the central region, have revealed that the Kingdom’s
reserves are “commercially unviable”.
Nuclear programme ‘in violation of parliamentary motion’ [Jordan Times, Amman] By Taylor Luck, July 10–AMMAN -- Lawmakers and activists have called on the government to suspend the country’s nuclear programme, accusing officials of violating a parliamentary motion calling for halting the project. Continue reading
“We [the IAF] eye the nuclear project as unjustifiable with suspicions of corruption surrounding it and demand halting the projectâ€¦ we call for investing in safe alternative energy resources, with which Jordan is rich,”
Jordan- Islamists call for halt to nuclear programme MENAFN – Jordan Times – 09/04/2012 The Islamist movement on Sunday called for halting the Kingdom’s nuclear programme, claiming that information about the project’s goals and financing were vague and misleading.
Islamist leaders described the project as ambiguous and suspicious, accusing officials in charge of the programme of not being transparent about the programme’s agenda. Continue reading
Activists claim that the studies, currently being conducted by Worley Parsons and Tractebel Engineering in cooperation with the Jordan Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the JAEC, will lack credibility due to the firms’ “vested interests” in sustaining the nuclear programme.
Participants also called for the dissolution of the JAEC and the Jordan-French Uranium Company, urging the government to replace the entities with a Renewable Energy Commission to boost the Kingdom’s efforts to pursue solar and wind energy, which industry experts and officials alike admit have suffered several setbacks in the last two years.
Activists call for open Nuclear Debate in Jordan, The Jordan Times December 4th, 2011 Activists and environmentalists on Saturday called for an open debate on the country’s atomic energy programme, voicing concern over the feasibility of Amman’s nuclear drive. Continue reading
France stands by Jordan’s nuclear programme’ | Jordan Times, By Taylor Luck, 13 July 2010, AMMAN – France supports Jordan’s right to enrich uranium as outlined in the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, the top French diplomat in Amman said on Tuesday. Continue reading
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