Saudi Arabia-Jordan agree to cooperate

23 January 2014

The nuclear agencies of Saudi Arabia and Jordan have signed a cooperation agreement that will see the neighbouring countries work together to advance their energy projects.

Jordan-Saudi Arabia coop agreement (Petra)_460
The agreement was signed at a ceremony in the Jordanian capital, Amman (Image: Petra)

Signed by Khaled Touqan, head of the Jordan Atomic Energy Commission (JAEC), and Hashim Yamani, president of Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy (KA-CARE), the agreement covers cooperation in various nuclear energy fields.

The main focus of the agreement is on basic and applied research related to nuclear energy and technologies, design, construction and operation, power plants and nuclear reactors. Also included is cooperation in research and exploration for "raw materials", plus radioactive waste management.

The deal covers cooperation on "innovative new generations of nuclear reactors" plus safeguards technologies, nuclear materials controls, the preparation of nuclear safety and radiation protection legislation, environmental protection and human resources development.

According to the two countries' official press agencies, Petra (Jordan) and SPA (Saudi Press Agency), the agreement will also "ensure transparency in the licensing and operation of nuclear facilities in the border area". Saudi Arabia has plans to build up to 16 reactors over the next 20 years, while Jordan has selected Russia as the preferred bidder for its first nuclear power plant with a view towards a 2020 operation date. Final sites have not yet been selected in either country.

Touqan described the agreement as a new milestone in relations between the two countries, while Yamani highlighted the potential mutual benefits from shared information and expertise as well as from coordination between the two countries' regulatory bodies, planning institutions and educational establishments.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News