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Opposition to dangerous nuclear power, in Jordan

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  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.

“We are very afraid of this project because it’s dangerous to the entire country, people, the environment, and economy. We do not see a need for it,” Ali Kassay, a member the Jordanian Coalition for Nuclear Free Jordan, told AFP.

“There are cheaper, better and safer alternatives,” he said.

“It’s illogical to build a nuclear plant in a country known historically for earthquakes, as well as lack of capabilities, funds, human resources and water.” On October 28, the government said Russia’s Rusatom Overseas will operate the planned  as a strategic partner, while Atomstroyexport will provide the atomic technology.

“Before making such announcements, detailed feasibility studies and consultations with local communities should have been carried out,” said environmentalist Rauf Dabbas, who also advises the environment ministry.

“Until this day, this has not been taken into consideration,” he said.

“There are no local institutions that have the experience to closely monitor such nuclear activities and plans.”

Dabbas said the government “is not serious about enhancing the role of the ministries of health and the environment in this project.

“There are also security concerns. The plant’s site is located near main roads linking Jordan to Iraq and Saudi Arabia,” he added.

“Jordan’s nuclear plans will take at least 10 years to provide us with , but we need energy now.”……..

“Jordan’s nuclear decision is a miscalculation,” said Safaa Jayoussi, a Greenpeace climate and energy campaigner.

“We saw what happened in Japan’s Fukushima . We cannot allow this to happen in Jordan. Nuclear energy will not provide sustainable energy. Jordan should drop its plans before it’s too late.”…….

The Fukushima plant was badly damaged by a tsunami in March 2011 and critics say it remains fragile and at the mercy of extreme weather or other natural hazards.

“Jordan lacks the funds, means and laws to govern and ensure nuclear safety as reckless government policies continue to provoke Jordanians who reject the nuclear plan,” local environmental organisations said in a joint statement.     http://phys.org/news/2013-11-jordanians-fret-dangerous-nuclear.html#jCp

November 6, 2013 - Posted by | Jordan, opposition to nuclear

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