Russia To Build Nuclear Reactor In Jordan
On Tuesday, Russia and Jordan signed a $10 billion deal for Russia to construct Jordan’s first nuclear power plant in Amra, according to ABC News. The plant will feature two 1,000-megawatt reactors, which will use fuel purchased from Rosatom for the first ten years. After that period Jordan will be free to purchase fuel elsewhere. Jordan will own 51% of the plant; Rosatom will own the remainder, according to the Jordan Times. Jordan’s Petra agency acknowledged the Amra plant should be completed by 2022; the government hopes to mix the power with stockpiles of uranium the country already possesses.
Rosatom, the Russian Federation national nuclear corporation comprised of 400 nuclear companies and R&D institutions reached a deal this year with Hungary to build two reactors; last month Russia and Egypt signed a memorandum of understanding for Russia to build Egypt’s first nuclear power plant in Dabaa. In December, Finland agreed to a joint venture with Rosatom, to build a new nuclear reactor in the north of the country.
According to the company’s website, Rosatom is the world leader in nuclear reactor under simultaneous construction.
Jordan is energy-poor, importing 96% of its electricity. To make matters worse, the violence around the country in Iraq and the Sinai Peninsula has endangered supplies.
Khalid Toukan, head of the Jordanian Atomic Energy Commission, admitted the surrounding violence has posed a problem, stating, “As you know, we lost the oil from Iraq, natural gas from Egypt, and the country has been bleeding and losing on an average $3 billion every year,” adding, “We aim to build a state-of-the art nuclear power plant that will be a showcase for the region and other newcomer countries.”
Toukan spoke of the uranium deposits discovered in 2007 that are still undeveloped, asserting, “Nuclear power is definitely one of the solutions to graduate from total dependency on oil and gas. I am optimistic that the raw materials, the yellow cake, will come from Jordan.”
Rosatom’s director Sergei Kiriyenko said his country’s experience with nuclear energy, including “post-Fukushima lessons” would enable sound construction of the plant, concluding, “The power plant is the embodiment of a real strategic partnership.”