Around a month ago, Jordanians held a protest in Amman against the government’s plans to build a nuclear station which they remarked posed more risks than potential positive impacts. Now, they have stepped up their protests with support from Greenpeace Jordan which is urging the country to reconsider renewable energy resources as an alternative to nuclear power.
Wearing gasmasks and surrounded with mocked-up radioactive nuclear waste barrels, the campaigners insisted that nuclear power was dirty, unsafe and a security threat. The nuclear plans are part of Jordan’s effort to become more self-sufficient at providing its own energy.
The Kingdom’s nuclear power programme consists of building a 1,000 megawatt (MW) nuclear reactor by the end of the next decade and the construction of up to four plants to produce over half the country’s electricity needs.
Raouf Dabbas, a senior advisor to the Ministry of Environment in Jordan told Green Prophet in a previous article that the country imports around 98% of its oil and energy from the outside and needed to look for sustainable forms of energy. Renewable energy accounts for under 1% of the nation’s current energy mix.
Jordan has set itself the target of sourcing 20% of its energy mix from sustainable sources by 2020. However, campaigners state that the government needs to seriously reconsider renewable energy alternatives such as solar and wind power which provide clean and safe energy rather than relying on nuclear energy.
Concerns have been raised over safety as Jordan lies on a fault line (with predications of a serious earthquake every 100 years) and doesn’t readily have the large amounts of water needed to cool a nuclear reactor.
Jordan has already received several bids from energy companies to build the 1,000 MW nuclear reactor. The country will also begin receiving bids for its first 90 MW wind farm this month (which will the country’s largest) – judging by the MW, Jordan is clearly happier putting its eggs in the nuclear basket.
:: Image via Hamza Omari/ Greenpeace Jordan/facebook.
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