In a “no to nuclear” rally on the outskirts of the town of Muwaqqar, some 20 kilometres south of #Amman, dozens of environmentalists, activists and tribal leaders protested against plans to construct twin 1,000 megawatt reactors in the nearby Qusayr Amra region, accusing the government of exposing area residents to “danger”.
During the hour-long demonstration, local community leaders and energy experts took turns criticising the proposed site for the reactors, claiming it would threaten underground water resources.
“We have dozens of alternatives to nuclear energy — wind, solar power and oil shale,” said Mashaal Majali, an activist with the National Coalition Against the Nuclear Reactor.
“Why expose the entire country to danger and use valuable water resources when we have all the alternative energy options right before us?” he asked.
Protesters called on the government to halt plans for the reactors, vowing a “war of resistance” if construction plans proceed.
“This land is where we farm, where we raise livestock and most importantly where we raise our children,” said Mohammed Suleiman a Muwaqqar-area farmer who fears that the reactor’s proximity will affect cultivation.
“If the government believes that we will stay silent because we are in the badia and not in Amman, they are making a big mistake.”
Thursday marked the latest in a series of protests over the planned reactor site, which was unveiled in a press conference in late October to announce the selection of Russian state-owned firm Rosatom as the preferred vendor to construct two 1,000-megawatt reactors by 2021.
Activists and local residents claim that the reactors threaten the underground aquifers in Azraq, some 15 kilometres from the proposed site.
The Jordan Atomic Energy Commission listed the site’s distance from major urban centres and proximity to the Khirbet Samra Wastewater Treatment Plant among its advantages.