Jordan on 26 May announced  plans to construct a small modular nuclear reactor with Russian assistance, instead of the $10bn two-unit nuclear power plant for which an agreement was signed in 2015 between the Jordan Atomic Energy Commission (JAEC) and Russia’s Rusatom Overseas (part of state nuclear corporation Rosatom).  

“Jordan is now focusing on small modular reactors [SMRs] because the large reactors place financial burden on the Kingdom,” a government official, told The Jordan Times. In 2015, Jordan signed an agreement with Rosatom for construction of a 2000MWe plant in the north of the kingdom by 2022.  

JAEC and Russia’s Rusatom Overseas have now announced the signature of a new agreement to conduct a joint feasibility study for construction of a Russian-designed SMR in Jordan. Building on cooperation and studies performed for the large plant, Russia and Jordan have decided to intensify their cooperation in the field of SMRs.  

"Apart from its modular composition, one of the main advantages of the Russian-design SMR is its ability to be used as a desalination and heating plant”, according to the joint statement.

JAEC chairman Khaled Touqan said in the statement: “We have been cooperating with Rosatom for many years, and we are going to build on this cooperation in various spheres. Today, a potential project to construct SMR-type NPP seems more relevant and more needed.”

Rusatom Overseas president Evgeny Pakermanov  said Jordan decided to “focus our cooperation on enhancing SMR technology projects based on Rosatom’s innovative solutions”.

Russia and Jordan are already cooperating in human resource development. Currently, 100 Jordanian students are conducting their Bachelor, Masters and other postgraduate studies and programmes in major Russian universities.

Jordan currently imports nearly 98% of its energy from oil products and crude and is struggling to meet electricity demand which is growing by more than 7% a year due to a rising population and industrial expansion. Jordan said in a statement it is looking to benefit from all the available technologies in order to strengthen its local dependency on energy.

Date: Wednesday, 30 May 2018
Original article: