Abdullah: Israel disrupting Jordan nuke energy bid

Jordanian monarch claims Israeli delegates pressuring other countries not to cooperate with the country's nuclear energy bid.

Jordan King Abdullah 370 (photo credit:  	 REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton)
Jordan King Abdullah 370
(photo credit: REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton)
Jordanian King Abdullah accused Israel of interfering with Jordan's nuclear energy program, in an interview with AFP on Wednesday.
Jordan has sought to cooperate with other countries in order to develop nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, but Israel has been putting pressure on those countries not to comply, Abdullah claimed.
"A Jordanian delegation would approach a potential partner, and one week later an Israeli delegation would be there, asking our interlocutors not to support Jordan's nuclear energy bid," AFP quoted Abdullah as saying. As a result of repeated attacks since 2011 on the pipelines leading gas supplies from Egypt to both Jordan and Israel, the desert country, which imports 95% of its energy needs, is seeking alternative energy sources.
Abdullah said that "the attacks on the Egyptian gas pipeline over the past two years have cost us already JOD 2.8 billion ($3.95 billion.) That could have paid for almost one reactor."
Jordan plans to invest JOD 3.5 billion ($4.9 billion) in a nuclear power plant that would constitute one third of the total power capacity generated in the country today, Abdullah said.
Addressing concerns from energy experts in Jordan that the nuclear power plant would be unsafe following the Fukushima nuclear disaster last year, the Jordanian King gave assurances that Jordan would build the most secure, latest-generation reactor.
"These are far safer than earlier models, and have multiple features that help them withstand extreme conditions," King Abdullah said. Japan's Fukushima disaster involved an old-generation plant."