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Investors ‘genuinely interested’ in planned uranium plant

By Mohammad Ghazal - May 25,2015 - Last updated at May 25,2015

AMMAN — Jordan is in talks with regional and international investors to finance a project to build a plant for uranium extraction in the country, according to Khalid Toukan, chairman of the Jordan Atomic Energy Commission.

“Some investors from the region have shown their genuine interest in being part of the project and we will soon see some positive results,” Toukan said in an interview with The Jordan Times last week.

The JD100 million plant is expected to have a capacity of 300-400 metric tonnes per year and can be expanded to 1,500 metric tonnes per year at a later stage.

A small pilot plant is in the pipelines and will be constructed before the end of this year, said Toukan, adding this project will pave the way for the construction of the major plant.

“The reserves of uranium are very promising in Jordan according to local studies and international experts, based on solid research,” said Toukan.

Jordan's central region is home to 36,389 metric tonnes of uranium oxide that can be easily mined, according to an official study conducted in cooperation with international experts on uranium reserves in Jordan. 

Estimation of the uranium resources in the central region are expected to increase as more exploration is carried out in the 350-square-kilometre area. 

The uranium resources in the central Jordan area can be increased to 65,979 metric tonnes, if uranium prices go up, allowing mining of uranium of lower concentrations, according to official estimates.

In the interview, Toukan said work is under way to lay the foundation stone for a nuclear electricity company.

The company, he said, is expected to be built before the end of this year.

“The creation of the company is a very important step towards the completion of the country’s first nuclear power plant,” said Toukan.

Last year, Jordan selected Russia’s Rosatom to build the country’s first nuclear power plant featuring two reactors with 1,000-megawatt capacity each.

 

Construction of the plant is expected to start in 2017 and be completed in six years.

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