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JAEC says Russia not quitting nuclear project

By Mohammad Ghazal - Aug 16,2017 - Last updated at Aug 16,2017

AMMAN — Jordan on Wednesday said talks were still ongoing with Russia to secure the best financing terms for the country's first nuclear power plant, insisting that the two countries are still committed to the implementation of the project, according to the Jordan Atomic Energy Commission (JAEC).

Russia's Rosatom has been keen on implementing the project since the start and is still involved in the project with all its technical and financial aspects, the commission said in remarks to the Jordan Times Wednesday.

The commission's statement came following reports claiming that the Russian company was considering withdrawal from the project and it has already submitted a request to Jordan in this regard.

"This news is groundless…The company has recently submitted a full offer for building the first nuclear plant and there is close cooperation between the two sides in this respect," JAEC said, adding that technical and other studies related to the project were completed, emphasising that the project would not put any burden on the Treasury.

The commission said it was going ahead with negotiations with the Russian side to look into the optimal financing solutions in cooperation with concerned authorities.

As Jordan imports most of its energy and seeks greater energy security as well as lower electricity prices, it seeks to have two 1000 MWe nuclear power units in operation by 2025 to provide nearly half the country’s electricity.

In early 2017, Jordan and Russia floated tenders to attract bids for supplying turbines and electrical systems for the Kingdom’s first nuclear power plant.

Thirty per cent of the $10-billion project will be financed equally by Jordan and Russia, who are partners in the project.

A majority of this funding will go for the building of the plant, which will be awarded to Jordanian companies, said JAEC chief Khaled Toukan.

Jordan has reached a deal with Rosatom State Nuclear Energy Corporation under which Russia will provide enriched nuclear fuel for the reactors for the first 10 years after which Jordan has the option of buying nuclear fuel from Russia or any other market.

In March 2015, Jordan signed an inter-governmental agreement with Russia to build and operate the nuclear power plant. Russia’s Rosatom will own 49 per cent of the project.

The two reactors will have a total capacity of 2,000 megawatts.

 

The Kingdom’s central region is home to 40,000 metric tonnes of uranium, which has enough yellow cake to supply Jordan for 150 years, according to the commission. 

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