AMMAN — Enriching uranium will deepen the energy crisis in the Kingdom and its dependence on foreign companies, the Jordanian Coalition for Nuclear Free Jordan said on Saturday.
In a statement issued in response to His Majesty King Abdullah’s recent interview with AFP, the coalition said the government could reduce expenditures on fuel subsidies immediately by “building renewable energy power plants which can become operational in one year”.
During the interview, the King stressed the “need to find immediate solutions to end the burden of government subsidies”, which the coalition argued a nuclear programme would not meet.
“Building a nuclear reactor takes six to eight years in advanced industrialised countries, and more than 15 years in a developing country such as Jordan,” the statement said.
The coalition claimed that enriching uranium in the Kingdom would “deepen Jordan’s dependence on foreign companies”, which goes against the King’s emphasis on achieving energy independence for the country.
The statement also called for an inquiry into documents leaked from French firm AREVA that is currently carrying out an exploration of uranium deposits in the central region and SRK Consulting, which they described as revealing that “the concentration of Jordanian uranium ore is so low that its extraction would not be economically feasible”.
The coalition also alleged that some of the actions of the Jordan Atomic Energy Commission (JAEC) may be in violation of the Kingdom’s Nuclear Law, and called on the government to comply with Jordanian law and respect the binding motion passed by the 16th Parliament in June, ordering the suspension of the nuclear programme pending further study of its economic feasibility.
The statement also said the JAEC should bear responsibility for any costs beyond the JD3.5 billion King Abdullah cited as the cost of the proposed nuclear power plant.
The group expressed support for a national project that involves local expertise and resources including oil shale and gas.
“We look to His Majesty… to lead Jordan in an ambitious national programme for renewable energy that would generate not less than 50 per cent of Jordan’s electricity needs from renewable energy by 2020,” the statement added.