Friday, November 21, 2008

Power option in Jordan

I have been interested in reading about the nuclear option in Jordan and have been having many conversations as to whether this is what Jordan needs.
I know it is a carbon free source of power but according to a MIT and Harvard report there are four unresolved problems:
1. High relative costs
2. Perceived safety, environmental and health affects
3. Potential security risks
4. Unresolved challenges in long-term management of nuclear wastes.
On average a nuclear power plant annually generates 20 metric tons of high-level radioactive waste plus a lot of low-level radioactive waste (parts and equipment etc). It costs a fortune to just build the plant. And the amount of water needed, according to an Australian report, for a nuclear power station producing 1,400 megawatts of electricity a year would use about 25 billions litres of water. Nuclear power is hugely expensive and the most water hungry of all energy sources.
Jordan is assessing the feasibility of having a nuclear power programme with the help of Canada and aims to open their first station by 2015 which would generate 30% of Jordan’s total energy. At the moment 95% of its energy comes from imported fossil fuel power and costs 20% of GDP.
Jordan has 2% of the world’s uranium.
I understand that many countries are having debates on this subject. My gut reaction is that is it worth it? A huge capital expenditure plus all the down sides. How can we manage nuclear waste when we cannot manage everyday waste? I suppose one of the pluses is the plan to have desalination plant which will give Jordan a much needed water resource but I wonder just how much potable water a plant in Aqaba would produce. Who will pay for it? And who will manage it? And how much will it cost on an annual basis for maintenance, security etc? So many questions to answer. T

3 Comments:

Blogger Hareega said...

We may not be ready for it, but we need to look for other althernative sources of energy ASAP. Our water supply is very limited and is shrinking. We don't porduce a drop of oil and our relationships with neighboring countries have been very shaky since our existence.

Friday, November 21, 2008  
Blogger joladies said...

Precisely .... I have been ranting on about this issue for the past few years ..... as Jordan going nuclear gives me the horrors .... no-one seems to be taking on board the water issue vis-a-vis nuclear technology ....I wish they would take a few steps back and do proper research into alternative renewable energy sources (sun for starters) and whether Jordan's drive to develop everything 'a la industrialised nations' is really what this country is all about? I would have thought the risks involved for future generations and their well being is not worth the expense (financial, environmental social) ... and what happened to innovative vision ... the one that creates the balance between environment/people/culture/resources ..... ok enough ranting for one day .... I have been away from the internet for a while and it has been bliss ...!! J

Thursday, December 04, 2008  
Blogger Muwaffaq said...

At the end of the day it is all about price. Oil supply is diminishing and in the not too distant future the price will rise again and most likely not fall, so Jordan will need a viable energy policy. Nuclear will make sense only if it the cheapest alternative and there is probably a minimum oil price for which that cost can be calculated relatively easily. The environmental risk seems minimal as historically nuclear power is quite safe (excluding communist Russia perhaps). The question is would the rest of the world be comfortable with Jordanian nuclear power ??>

Saturday, December 06, 2008  

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