by JT | Jul 12, 2012 | 23:44

RAMTHA — Several Ramtha residents on Thursday barged into a building on the campus of the Jordan University of Science and Technology (JUST) intended to house a nuclear research reactor and smashed its windows and doors.

They also burned and destroyed all files and documents related to the reactor, expressing rejection of its establishment on land belonging to their tribes, the Jordan news Agency, Petra, reported.

Deifallah Shaqran, a spokesperson representing the tribes, said that around a year ago, a local popular movement began a series of sit-ins and marches to protest against the university’s appropriation of their land.

The case was then referred to the prosecutor general and a civil case was filed against JUST, but Shaqran charged that the government had encroached on the judiciary’s authority and prevented the case from proceeding, according to Petra.

Officials have not responded to calls to stop the establishment of the nuclear reactor, he added.

A consortium comprising the Korean Atomic Energy Research Institute and Daewoo is scheduled to begin construction in December on a 5-megawatt nuclear research reactor at the Jordan University of Science and Technology in Ramtha, 90km north of Amman.

The reactor will serve as a training ground for nuclear engineers and physicists who will man the country’s nuclear programme in the future.

Earlier this month, environmentalists and tribal leaders delivered a petition to South Korea’s embassy in Amman, in which they urged the Korean government to stop the planned construction of the research reactor in Ramtha.

The petition, which was also signed by hundreds of representatives of professional associations, political parties and parliamentarians, said that its authors “stand firmly against” the building of a nuclear research reactor in their community.

Meanwhile, JUST announced on Thursday that classes and activities at the university were not affected by the incident and would proceed as scheduled, Petra reported.