Russia expects feasibility study for Jordan in early 2017

02 September 2016

A feasibility study on the construction of nuclear power plants in Jordan is to be prepared in the first half of next year, Sergey Kirienko, director general of the Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom said today. Kirienko spoke to reporters at the second Eastern Economic Forum that opened today in the Russian city Vladivostock.

In March 2015, Russia and Jordan signed an intergovernmental agreement on cooperation in the construction and operation of two 1000 MWe VVER units at Az-Zarqa in central Jordan.

"The feasibility study will provide answers to questions about financing the project," Kirienko said, as quoted by TASS news agency.

The total estimated cost of the project is $10 billion, with 30% to be financed in equal parts by Jordan as a customer and Russia as the reactor vendor. Negotiations are under way on securing the remaining funding.

Khaled Toukan, chairman of the Jordan Atomic Energy Commission, recently told local media that the country's first nuclear power plant could be operational by 2025, if sufficient financing is secured. According to the Jordan Times, Toukan said the country is in talks with German, Czech, Chinese and Japanese companies among others to supply turbines and electrical systems for the power plant and "things are going well". Some 30% of the $10 billion project will be financed equally by Jordan and Russia, who are partners in the project. "If we secure finance by the end of 2017, we will be able to operate the first reactor by 2025," he said.

In February, King Abdullah II of Jordan has stressed the importance of moving ahead with the country's plans for nuclear energy, calling for Jordan to become a role model for the peaceful use of nuclear energy.

Jordan's first nuclear reactor, the Jordan Research and Training Reactor, is being built at the Jordan University for Science and Technology by a consortium led by the Korean Atomic Energy Research Institute with Daewoo. The 5 MWt reactor is based on version of Korea's 30 MWt Hanaro design, and is expected to start up in 2016 or 2017.

Jordan is one of three countries that professional services consultancy Procorre has identified as "set to create a raft of project opportunities in the nuclear industry". The other two are Vietnam and China.

In a statement today, Procorre noted that Jordan imports more than 95% of its energy, but that it hopes to generate nearly half of its own electricity using nuclear power by 2030, setting up committees to amend its nuclear legislation.

Stuart Livingstone, group operations director at Procorre, said: "We're currently seeing a boom in technological developments both in countries with emerging nuclear capabilities and those more established countries, meaning the future of the industry is looking very promising." He added: "Despite a period of instability, the nuclear industry is picking itself up and creating a wealth of opportunities."

Researched and written
by World Nuclear Energy