As the final component of my Nuclear Energy MPhil, I’ve been completing a thesis that analyzes various pathways Jordan and Turkey might follow in their attempts to build more independent and sustainable energy systems by the year 2050. In order to better understand how nuclear power might contribute to energy goals, I spent two weeks in Amman this summer meeting with government officials, environmental advocates, and representatives from the private sector. By conducting a dozen or so formal interviews and gaining some first-hand experience with Jordan’s transportation systems and water distribution structures, I gained a much more nuanced understanding of the country’s often-conflicting political, financial, and environmental needs. Many of my interview subjects also offered a more skeptical perspective on Jordan’s nuclear ambitions in person than they had in official publications, which has certainly helped in my research.
The Cambridge University Engineering Department, Selwyn College, and the Craig-Cambridge Scholarship very generously covered my travel expenses, and I’m enormously grateful to them for the opportunity to deepen my understanding of the region. I also owe thanks to the American Center for Oriental Research, which acted as my home base in Amman, gave me a community of other students and researchers, and helped connect me to decision-makers in the energy sector.