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UAE, Jordan Condemn Killing of Iranian Nuclear Scientist, Call for Self-restraint

UAE, Jordan Condemn Killing of Iranian Nuclear Scientist, Call for Self-restraint, The states cautioned against regional escalations after the killing of Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh

The United Arab Emirates condemned on Sunday the killing of top Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh and called on all parties to exercise self-restraint to avoid sliding the region into new levels of instability, the state news agency reported on Twitter.

Jordan, a staunch U.S. ally also condemned the assassination of Fakhrizadeh, state media reported, and called for collective efforts to avoid an escalation in tensions in the Middle East region.


November 30, 2020 Posted by | Jordan, politics international, United Arab Emirates | Leave a comment

Renewable energy, replacing nuclear plans with solar, is the obvious way forward for Jordan

Since renewable sources of energy are getting more promising in the country, and domestic gas production has risen, it is time to close the door on nuclear projects and rely more on other sources of energy.

Replace nuclear with renewables May 22,2019  Head of the Lower House’s Energy and Mineral Resources Committee Haytham Ziadin raised recently, and rightly so, the viability of the plan to build a nuclear plant to satisfy the energy needs of the country. Ziadin went as far as calling for ending altogether all plans to build such a plant, and called them simply as squandering of badly-needed funds.


The comments of the head of the Lower Houses’ Energy and Mineral Resources Committee must be seen against the backdrop of an earlier ambitious plan to construct a huge nuclear plant, by signing first an agreement to do so with Russia’s Rosaton agency in 2015 for this purpose that would cost $10 billion at a time when the country is dry of funds and nearly broke! The defunct nuclear plant project would have generated only 2,000 Megawatts of electricity anyway. The cancelled deal was replaced by a less ambitious project to build smaller nuclear reactors.

In retrospect though, the idea to go nuclear in the country was marred with strong objections from several well-informed sources in the country, which raised the spectrum of its safety and the non-availability of sufficient amounts of water anywhere in the country for cooling purpose.

The economic feasibility of any such project was always on the minds of various shades of opinion on a national nuclear plant. When Aqaba was dropped as a site for this purpose due to strong objections from different circles, the sponsors of the nuclear plant project shifted their attention to other regions of the country, despite the fact that water resources are scant and the country can ill-afford depleting whatever is left of precious water on a dubious nuclear plant.

An increasing number of developed countries with a wide experience in nuclear energy have begun to phase out nuclear energy plants for safety reasons, among them Germany, so why would Jordan opt to go the other way?

When all is considered, the limited financial resources available to the country, in addition to rising safety hazards associated with nuclear plants, Ziadin and like-minded cautious people are right in objecting to the construction of even small nuclear reactors.

According to the Minister of Energy and Minerals Resources Hala Zawati, the country is now producing 11 per cent of our electricity by renewable energy sources and is projected to produce no less than 20 per cent of its energy needs by solar and wind sources of energy by 2021.

On balance, whatever benefits that nuclear plants may have for Jordan, they are outweighed by lack of financial resources, high safety risks associated with nuclear plants, shortage of water resources in all parts of the country and the lack of an appropriate geographic area for any such nuclear project.

Since renewable sources of energy are getting more promising in the country, and domestic gas production has risen, it is time to close the door on nuclear projects and rely more on other sources of energy.


May 23, 2019 Posted by | Jordan, renewable | Leave a comment

Jordan gives up on big nuclear power station, but might be sucked in by “Small Nukes” propaganda

Middle East Monitor 29th June 2018 The chairman of the Jordan Atomic Energy Commission, Dr. Khaled Toukan,
announced today that his country has abandoned the idea of establishing a
nuclear power plant, which was planned to be built with Russian technology
with a capacity of 2,000 megawatt. Dr. Toukan told a news conference that
the commission has abandoned the construction of a large plant and will
consider building small reactors. The chairman added that small reactors
need less funding and are more likely to be sponsored internationally than
large stations.

June 29, 2018 Posted by | Jordan, politics | Leave a comment

Jordan knocks back Russia’s $10 billion nuclear power plant , but contemplates”small floating reactor”

Jordan turns down a Rosatom plant, but dangles possible small reactor collaboration with Russia  In a blow to the international business interests of Russia’s state nuclear corporation Rosatom, Jordan has scrapped a plan to build a $10 billion nuclear power plant with Moscow’s help. Bellona,   by Charles Digges

In a blow to the international business interests of Russia’s state nuclear corporation Rosatom, Jordan has scrapped a plan to build a $10 billion nuclear power plant with Moscow’s help.

Jordan’s Atomic Energy Commission, the JAEC, said on Monday that the project, after three years of study and consideration, had collapsed over disagreements on how to finance the the build, which would have included two nuclear reactors built by Rosatom.

But canceling the larger plant, said the JAEC, doesn’t mean Jordan won’t be working with Russia on any nuclear projects at all. According to the commission, it’s possible that Rosatom would furnish the Mediterranean nation with small modular reactors instead.

On Monday, the commission said in a statement that the larger project was off because the commercial loans Rosatom wanted Joran to secure to finance construction would drive up the cost of the electricity the plant would eventually produce.
………Without specifically mentioning the cancellation of the larger plant, Rosatom said in a statement on May 27 that it and JAEC had decided to “intensify and step up” cooperation on small modular reactors and form a joint feasibility study for such a project based on Russian designs.

Yet what these reactors might consist of remains somewhat mysterious. Russia has signed agreements with other countries for work on small-scale reactors, most recently Sudan, to which it vaguely promised to build a floating nuclear power plant.

…… Rosatom repeatedly said that foreign customers would flock to Moscow to order floating nuclear power plants of its own.

Those orders have yet to materialize, but that hasn’t stopped Rosatom from repeating the mantra that floating plants will be a prime offering to its foreign customers. Whether an offer to build Jordan a floating plant will come to pass remains unknown. But increasingly, the notion of floating plants seems synonymous with Rosatom’s small reactor development schemes.

June 15, 2018 Posted by | Jordan, marketing, Russia | Leave a comment

Jordan drops plans for large nuclear reactors, will try small ones from Russia

Jordan Settles for Smaller Russian Nuclear Reactor by 2022 May 27th, 2018 via  

Jordan on Saturday announced a plan for a small modular nuclear reactor with Russia, replacing the $10 billion nuclear power plant for which an agreement was signed in 2015 between the Jordan Atomic Energy Commission (JAEC) and Russia’s Rosatom Overseas.

“Jordan is now focusing on small modular reactors because the large reactors place financial burden on the Kingdom and in light of the current fiscal conditions we believe it is best to focus on smaller reactors,” a government official, who preferred anonymity, told The Jordan Times on Saturday.

The official said the plan for the $10 billion nuclear plant with Russia that entails building two nuclear reactors with total capacity of 2,000 megawatts is over now and that focus will be on smaller reactors, which are safe, require less financial burden and for which Jordan can attract investors, the official said Saturday……..

May 28, 2018 Posted by | Jordan, politics | Leave a comment

Ending Iran nuclear deal could have grave consequences: Jordan fears new arms race

Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman al-Safadi says an end of the Iran deal could have grave consequences across the Middle East, 
BY REUTERS JERUSALEM POST MAY 8, 2018  MURNAU – Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman al-Safadi on Tuesday warned of “dangerous repercussions” and a possible arms race in the Middle East unless a political solution was found to free the region of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction.

Al-Safadi spoke in Germany before an expected announcement by US President Donald Trump on whether he will pull out of the Iran nuclear deal or work with European allies who say it has successfully halted Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

Al-Sadadi said he did not know what the US president would do, but urged continued conversation and dialog with Iran, despite what he called widespread concerns among Arab countries about Iran’s “interventionism” in the region.

“We all need to work together in making sure that we solve the conflicts of the region … and strive for a Middle East that is free of all weapons of mass destruction,” he told reporters after a meeting with leaders of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s right-left “grand coalition” government.

“If we do not look at the political picture and … find a way to ensure that the whole region is free of (these weapons), we’ll be looking at a lot of dangerous repercussions that will affect the region in terms of an arms race,” he said.

In March, Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman told CBS news that his kingdom would “without a doubt” develop nuclear weapons if Iran, Riyadh’s arch foe, did so.

Israel is widely believed to be the only nuclear-armed state in the Middle East, although it neither confirms nor denies possessing atomic weapons. …….

May 9, 2018 Posted by | Iran, Jordan, politics international, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Jordan’s water crisis – a sign of climate change troubles to come

Climate change: Jordan water crisis ‘to get worse’  Water shortages in Jordan are likely to get far worse over the coming years, according to a recent study by Stanford University.

The researchers said that, in the absence of international climate policy action, the country could receive 30 percent less rainfall by 2100 and annual temperatures could increase by 4.5 Celsius.

This would double the number and duration of droughts when compared with the 1981-2010 period, raising concerns in a country already dealing with water shortages.

The study reinforces a warning issued by the World Bank in August when it named Jordan, Iraq, Lebanon, Morocco and Syria as the countries in the Middle East and North Africa that will experience significantly increased water stress driven by climate change.

In its report, the World Bank described the region as the global hotspot of unsustainable water use.

Currently, the reservoirs in Jordan are at a record low – only one-fifth full – and the vital winter rains are becoming increasingly erratic.

There seems little respite for the country, which draws 160 percent more water from the ground than is replenished by nature.

But despite its importance, there is little incentive to conserve the precious resource. The use of water irrigation remains heavily subsidised, and wastage is a major issue. More than half of Jordan’s water is used for agriculture, which produces only a small share of the local food supply. It is estimated that almost 50 percent of the water supply is lost due to misuse or theft.

The subsidy also means that some farmers grow water-intensive crops such as bananas and tomatoes.

The government is cracking down on illegal water use and has announced a slight increase in price, but Ali Subah, assistant secretary-general in the Ministry of Water and Irrigation, says the country views desalination as the answer to its water issues.

The trouble is that solutions often depend on cross-border cooperation. Jordan’s flagship Red Sea desalination project, for example, has faced repeated delays, most recently because of a regional diplomatic crisis that led to a scaling back of cross-border contacts since the summer.

Until a solution is found, the fear is that the water crisis in Jordan will only get worse.

November 8, 2017 Posted by | climate change, Jordan, water | Leave a comment

Jordan soon to be plunged into nuclear debt by Russia?

Jordan in talks with Russia on financing solutions for nuclear reactor 2017-08-17 AMMAN,   (Xinhua) — Jordan on Wednesday said talks were still ongoing with Russia to secure the best financing solutions to build the country’s first nuclear power plant.

The Jordan Atomic Energy Commission said in a statement that the two countries were still committed to the project to build a nuclear power plant in Jordan with two reactors each having a capacity of 1,000 megawatts.

Russia’s Rosatom, the state atomic energy corporation, has been keen on implementing the project since its inception and is involved in the project with all its technical and financial aspects, the commission said, quoted by the Jordan Times.

The commission’s statement came following some local reports claiming that the Russian company was looking into withdrawing from the project and it has already submitted a request to Jordan in this regard…….

Jordan will secure 1.5 billion U.S. dollars and Russia will do the same for building the plant, which is estimated to cost 10 billion dollars. The rest will be financed by banks and funds.

In March 2015, Jordan signed an inter-governmental agreement with Russia to build and operate the nuclear power plant. Russia’s Rosatom will own 49 percent of the project.

August 18, 2017 Posted by | Jordan, marketing, Russia | Leave a comment

Solar power at Azraq refugee camp- provided by UNHCR and Jordan govt

Historic First: Solar Plant Illuminates Syrian Refugee Camp, Vastly Improving Quality of Life, (EnviroNews World News) by Julia Travers  May 27, 2017  — Azraq, Jordan — The newly activated two-megawatt solar photovoltaic power plant at the Azraq refugee camp in Jordan is the first refugee camp in the world to be powered by a renewable energy facility. The plant started running May 17, 2017, and will provide free energy to about 20,000 of the 36,000 refugees in the area – all victims of the Syrian conflict, now in its seventh year.


There are close to 15 million refugees in the world, and the integration of free renewable energy into their stressful lives is invaluable. “Lighting up the camp is not only a symbolic achievement; it provides a safer environment for all camp residents, opens up [livelihood] opportunities, and gives children the chance to study after dark. Above all, it allows all residents of the camps to lead more dignified lives,” said United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) Deputy High Commissioner, Kelly T. Clements.

“Before this, when we cooked a meal we had to throw the leftovers away because there was no safe way to store food. When we got too hot, we had to pour water on our clothes to keep cool. Now we can listen to music or have a cold glass of water, and daily life no longer ends when the sun sets,” Fatima, a 52-year-old from Damascus who lives in the camp with her two adult sons, told the UNHCR.

UNHCR partnered with the Government of Jordan, Jordanian solar company Mustakbal, and IKEA to build this camp. The IKEA Foundation is UNHCR’s largest private sector partner and fully funded the solar installation through their “#BrighterLives4Refugees” campaign. The endeavor raised $9.6 million for the cause by donating a portion of IKEA’s LED light sales in 2015.

20,000 of the individuals now living in the desert camp have had some access to non-renewable electricity since January 2017, and they now receive additional power from the sun. The new solar station is connected to Jordan’s grid and is intended to provide electricity to the remaining 16,000 refugees at Azraq by early 2018. The solar initiative will save UNHCR $1.5 million a year, which it can devote to other refugee services, while reducing annual CO2 emissions by roughly 2,370 tons.

The 500 new solar LED streetlights make the camp safer at night, which was especially concerning for women and girls, UNHCR relayed. Mustakbal also provided training and employment to over 50 refugees. “I wasn’t able to finish my education because of the war and then exile, but this has given me a practical skill that I can hopefully use in the future. If we return to Syria, the infrastructure is all destroyed, but this is a technology that we could use to rebuild,” said Mohammad, 20, who was forced to leave school at age 14.

July 10, 2017 Posted by | climate change, Jordan, renewable | Leave a comment

Russia continues its frantic nuclear marketing – to Jordan this time

nuclear-marketing-crapRussia expects feasibility study for Jordan in early 2017, WNN 02 September 2016 Kiriyenko--tsar

feasibility study on the construction of nuclear power plants in Jordan is to be prepared in the first half of next year, Sergey Kirienko,
director general of the Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom said today. Kirienko spoke to reporters at the second Eastern Economic Forum that opened today in the Russian city Vladivostock…….

September 5, 2016 Posted by | Jordan, marketing, Russia | Leave a comment

Russian financing, Russia selling nuclear power plant to Jordan

Russian-BearJordan seeking funds for first nuclear power plant — official, Jordan Times By Mohammad Ghazal – Aug 20,2016 –  AMMAN — Jordan’s first nuclear power plant could be operational by 2025, if sufficient financing is secured, the Jordan Atomic Energy Commission (JAEC) said on Thursday.

“Jordan is currently in talks with German, Czech, Chinese and Japanese companies among others to supply turbines and electrical systems for the power plant and things are going well,” said JAEC Chairman Khaled Toukan.

Thirty per cent of the $10 billion project will be financed equally by Jordan and Russia, who are partners in the project. JAEC is engaged in discussions with companies to secure the remaining 70 per cent to pay for turbines and electrical systems, Toukan said.

“If we secure finance by the end of 2017, we will be able to operate the first reactor by 2025,” he noted.

Under an agreement with Russia, Jordan plans to build a power plant with two nuclear reactors, each with a capacity of 1,000 megawatts.

Toukan was speaking at a press conference on Thursday to announce the results of a report on the programme by the International Advisory Group (IAG).

The IAG was formed in November 2015 to provide consultations on the strategy to deal with nuclear waste, and the best options and mechanisms to finance the plant.

The group includes former energy minister Khaled Shraideh and seven international industry experts. …….

August 21, 2016 Posted by | Jordan, marketing, Russia | Leave a comment

Jordan going ahead with solar technology in a big way, helped by China

piggy-ban-renewablesChinese enterprise funds Middle East renewables, Independent Australia Anthony M Horton 18 June 2015, New reports confirm that the future of the Middle East is in renewables, which is already cheaper and more reliable than oil. The region is predicted to become a global green economic hub, reports Anthony M Horton.

FOLLOWING A grant worth US$310 million from Hanergy, a Chinese energy enterprise that produces thin-film solar technology, Jordan will expand its power grid and increase its renewable energy production by 1 Gigawatt. As a result of Hanergy’s assistance, Jordan will achieve its goal of increasing renewable energy capacity to 40 per cent (1.8 Gigawatts) by 2020.

Jordan began removing fossil fuel subsidies and created the country’s Renewable Energy and Efficiency Fund a decade ago. This signalled the move to cleaner energy, and other Middle Eastern countries are also looking seriously at them. A report published by The Climate Group earlier this year (reported on 23 April) discussed the potential of the region to become a global green economy hub.

Their analysis, which was supported by the International Renewable Energy Agency, gave an overview of the current and future renewables landscape and explored the role that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) would play in reshaping the world’s energy future, given the lessons it was learning from flagship projects in Abu Dhabi and Dubai in terms of the best opportunities and ways to upscale renewables.

The report also highlighted the increasing adoption of solar energy technologies as evidence of the growing appetite of the private sector……….,7839

June 21, 2015 Posted by | China, Jordan, renewable | Leave a comment

Jordan commits to buying nuclear fuel from Russia for 10 years, in $10 Billion Deal on Nuclear Power Plant

Russian-BearJordan, Russia Sign $10 Billion Deal on Nuclear Power Plant, abc news AMMAN, Jordan — Mar 24, 2015, By SAM McNEIL Associated Press   Jordan signed a $10 billion deal with Russia on Tuesday to build the kingdom’s first nuclear power plant, with two 1,000-megawatt reactors in the country’s north.

The deal, signed in the Jordanian capital, Amman, with Russia’s state-owned Rosatom company caps efforts of the energy-poor kingdom to increase energy sufficiency and reduce imports……

Under the deal, Jordan must buy fuel from Rosatom for the reactors for 10 years, after which it may seek other suppliers. The Jordanian government will have a slight majority ownership, with Rosatom owning 49 pecent of the plant, according to the Jordan Times.

Earlier this year, Rosatom signed an agreement, the details of which are secret, to build two reactors in Hungary. And last month, during Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to Egypt, the two countries signed a memorandum of understanding to build Egypt’s first nuclear power plant at an existing nuclear site in Dabaa, on the Mediterranean coast where a research reactor has stood for years.

March 25, 2015 Posted by | Jordan, politics international, Russia | Leave a comment

Hind al Fayez -charismatic young parliamentarian challenges Jordan’s nuclear ambitions

Al-Fayez,-HindAmong 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

February 2, 2015 Posted by | Jordan, opposition to nuclear | Leave a comment

Russia keen to lock Jordan into long term contracts to buy nuclear reactors

Russian-BearRussia 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……

The statement published on the Russian government’s website said the implementation of the Jordan-Rosatom agreement will positively affect the development of Russia’s nuclear energy sector and will ensure long-term contracts to Russian companies. Russia approves draft deal to build nuclear plant in Jordan | The Times of Israel 

December 26, 2014 Posted by | Jordan, marketing, Russia | Leave a comment