IAEA praises Jordanian progress

18 August 2014

Jordan has made "notable progress" in developing its nuclear infrastructure, a mission led by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has found. The team made several recommendations to the country for developing this further.

An IAEA-led team of international experts reviewed Jordan's program for introducing nuclear power during an Integrated Nuclear Infrastructure Review (INIR) mission to the country between 4 and 14 August. The mission was led by Jong Kyun Park, director of the IAEA's nuclear power division. It was the second INIR mission to Jordan. Such missions are designed to assist IAEA member states in assessing the status of national infrastructure needed for the introduction of nuclear power.

"Nuclear power will make an important contribution to alleviating our major energy challenges in the future."

Khalid Toukan,
JAEC chairman

Park noted, "Jordan was the first country to invite an INIR mission in 2009, and in this second mission, we have seen that our counterparts have made notable progress in developing the nuclear infrastructure in Jordan."

The team, sent at Jordan's request, found that Jordan was following a few good practices, such as agreeing on pre-investment activities with Russia, its strategic partner, using graduate students to outreach to the country's youth population, and establishing a localization committee with wide participation from national industry.

However, the mission team made a number of recommendations to Jordan, including finalizing national policies and government commitment, improving coordination between the various ministries, strengthening the legislative framework, and finalizing pre-investment activities.

Jordan Atomic Energy Commission chairman Khalid Toukan said, "The INIR mission will greatly assist Jordan in developing its nuclear power program in line with the IAEA recommendations. Nuclear power will make an important contribution to alleviating our major energy challenges in the future."

Jordan, which relies on imports to meet some 90% of its energy needs, plans to build a nuclear power plant, comprising two 1000 MWe units, in the Amra region, about 70 kilometres east of Amman. It is aiming to have the first unit in operation by 2021 and a second one by 2025. Jordan has already selected Russia as the preferred bidder for the plant. Russia will also make a significant investment in the plant.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News