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‘Jordan’s first nuclear reactor to start operations by 2025’

By JT - Mar 19,2016 - Last updated at Mar 19,2016

AMMAN — Jordan’s first nuclear reactor is expected to start operating in 2024 or 2025, generating 1,000 megawatts (MW) of electricity, Jordan Nuclear Power Company (JNPC) Director General Ahmad Hiasat said on Saturday.

JNPC and the Jordan Atomic Energy Commission (JAEC) are currently cooperating with an international institution to prepare a detailed study on the location — in the Qusayr Amra region near Azraq some 60 kilometres east of Amman — and the environmental impact of the nuclear station, Hiasat added.

He expected the total cost of the project, consisting of two reactors, to stand at around JD7 billion, with a total capacity of 2,000MW, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.

In October 2013, Jordan contracted Russia’s Rosatom to build the Kingdom’s two first nuclear reactors.

Results of international studies and standards identified Amra area as the best location to carry out detailed studies and start implementing the project after receiving the necessary licences from the Energy and Minerals Regulatory Commission, Hiasat added.

The project will be implemented over two phases: the first one, which will last for two years, includes completing financing agreements, carrying out detailed studies on the location, studying environmental effects, insuring water provision and studying the economic cost, he said.

The phase also includes studies on the national power grid and the possibility of exporting electricity to neighbouring countries, before the government can make its decision to go ahead based on the findings, Hiasat explained.

The second phase consists of building the station, developing infrastructure, providing cooling water and fuel administration, the director general told Petra.

The government will own 50.1 per cent of the project, making the Jordanian side responsible for securing investments worth JD1 billion to own the majority share of the scheme, while Russia’s Rosatom will own 49.9 per cent of the project, he noted.

International standards stipulate that the population should not exceed 25,000 inhabitants within a span of 5km from the nuclear plant, 100,000 people within a 10km area, and 160,000 within a 32km area, the director general said.

In the Amra region, figures show there are around 700 people within a 5km radius and less than 60,000 residents within a 32km radius, according to international studies.

As for cooling the station, the facility will depend on treated water from As Samra Wastewater Treatment Plant, Hiasat said, noting that the project development agreement signed with the Russian company identified the highest needs for cooling water at 40 million cubic metres (mcm) annually for both reactors.

 

The Cabinet has agreed to allocate 30mcm from As Samra Plant and 15mcm from deep ground water for the plant.

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