Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Solar, not Nuclear

Due to the one sided editorial in the Jordan Times of 3 April 07, promoting nuclear energy for Jordan - (question: who actually wrote that piece??) - I felt the need to do a bit of research to get a clearer picture of what we are talking about, especially regarding the pros and cons of nuclear technology. I also strongly feel that this issue should be debated in public considering the 'fallout' or negative aspects of the nuclear industry. It's bad enough that Israel, Iran, Pakistan and India all have it - do we really need it too?

We would do well to heed the message of the 'cons' of nuclear technology when we realise nuclear 'waste' and its disposal continues to be an unsolved dilemma; it's going to be around for thousands of years polluting this tiny planet we all live on. Read 'cancer' for ever. I can't help but wonder why no serious effort has been carried out to highlight the obvious, alternative and renewable sources of energy that do not pollute the environment, such as solar and wind energy? Why the rush to go nuclear? The political dimension of this issue strikes me as quite ominous. Surely costs involved in developing non polluting alternative energy sources are cheaper than those related to setting up nuclear power stations?

And what of the solar energy research station that sits all alone along the southern Aqaba highway and has been there for decades? Does anyone know if the research has been published?

The following comment on the Time for Change website, promotes the use of CSP (concentrating solar power) as a viable, cost effective alternative - an untapped resource that Jordan is blessed with in abundance;

The question is: is Jordan even considering this option? J

The Time for Change website: Solar, not nuclear energy
Regarding "Pros and cons of nuclear power " (2007-01-09), it is surprising that anyone should be considering building new nuclear power plants in the US when there is a simple mature technology available that can deliver huge amounts of clean energy without any of the headaches of nuclear power.
I refer to 'concentrating solar power' (CSP), the technique of concentrating sunlight using mirrors to create heat, and then using the heat to raise steam and drive turbines and generators, just like a conventional power station. It is possible to store solar heat in melted salts so that electricity generation may continue through the night or on cloudy days. This technology has been generating electricity successfully in California since 1985 and half a million Californians currently get their electricity from this source. CSP plants are now being planned or built in many parts of the world.
CSP works best in hot deserts and, of course, these are not always nearby! But it is feasible and economic to transmit solar electricity over very long distances using highly-efficient 'HVDC' transmission lines. With transmission losses at about 3% per 1000 km, solar electricity may be transmitted to anywhere in the US. A portion of the Mojave desert would be sufficient to meet the entire current US demand for electricity.
In the recent 'TRANS-CSP' report commissioned by the German government, it is estimated that CSP electricity, imported from North Africa and the Middle East, could become one of the cheapest sources of electricity in Europe, including the cost of transmission. A large-scale HVDC transmission grid has also been proposed by Airtricity as a means of optimising the use of wind power throughout Europe.

Further information about CSP may be found at and Copies of the TRANS-CSP report may be downloaded from

The many problems associated with nuclear power are summarised at


Anonymous Anonymous said...

i'm not a fan of the nuclear option in Jordan but here's the thing with solar. there's a lot of solar energy on the rooftops of Jordan but to support a country's energy needs we're looking at a whole lot of production of glass. we're also looking at a lot of desert land being used. and i mean a lot.

not to mention the energy it produces is limited compared to nuclear.

but i would nonetheless prefer it on a limited basis to nuclear. possibly as something to support the large districts they're building.

Monday, April 09, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I also think that solar power has more advantages then nuclear power. Of course maybe for now nuclear power is more investigated, but solar power has big potential and soon it'll compete with nuclear power and win. I believe people will pay attention to investigating of solar power.

Monday, July 16, 2007  

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