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Jordan urged to choose more sustainable, cheaper and eco-friendly alternative energy sources

By JT - Dec 18,2017 - Last updated at Dec 18,2017

AMMAN — The International Advisory Group (IAG) on Monday recommended that Jordan choose alternative energy sources that are more sustainable, cheaper and eco-friendly. 

In its second report released on Monday, the IAG recommended that Jordan review the real total cost of alternatives and choose a power generation portfolio among nuclear power, fossil power and renewables that provide energy security, impose a minimum economic burden on consumers, secures a low carbon future, and preserves water resources

As recommended by the IAG, the development of an energy strategy in the country should encompass the opportunities for efficiency in the use of energy that are economically justified.

In the report, a copy of which was e-mailed to The Jordan Times, the group also recommended that Jordan design institutional arrangements when encouraging the use of renewables that avoid market distortion and minimise economic burden to consumers.

The group comprises experts in nuclear power, nuclear safety, nuclear regulation and other nuclear activities. Its job has been to study the situation of the nuclear programme and provide independent advice to His Majesty King Abdullah and the government on the Jordan Nuclear Energy Programme.

The group's first report was issued in 2016.

Chaired by former premier Marouf Bakhit, 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 nuclear power plant. It includes as members former energy minister Khaled Shraideh and seven world-renowned international experts in the industry.

The group advised Jordan to scrutinise the design and procedures of any future neuclear power programme (NPP) for safety in light of post-Fukushima global actions, namely scrutiny against the revised International Atomic Energy Agency Safety (IAEA) Standards, guidelines, norms and related global best practices. 

The IAG noted that, rather than just reviewing papers about SMRs, Jordan might organise a discussion with selected SMR suppliers (and other informed bodies such as the IAEA and regulators undertaking assessments of SMRs) as pre-tendering activities for better understanding of the opportunities, challenges and limitations.

The IAG also recommended that the Jordan Nuclear Power Company (JNPC) evaluate the role and responsibility of the safety group and its location in the organisational structure and define, for the long run, the required competencies of group and of individuals together with planning for continuous education and evaluation.  

The JNPC should target the implementation of human resources development, especially for experienced international consultants, IAG said.

With regard to Jordan Research and Training Reactor, IAG said the reactor is well suited to develop into a regional education and training centre for nuclear engineers and physics students needed for the nuclear power aspirations of the region. "An active campaign to acquire such customers is highly recommended."

On the country's uranium project, the group said much useful and good work has been undertaken in this area since the first report. 


The IAG said it was impressed by the extensive work that has been done to analyse the opportunity for uranium production, adding that merits of full exploitation of uranium extraction on an industrial scale should be considered independent of any decision as to whether to pursue the construction of an NPP.

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