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IAEA commends Jordan’s studies on planned nuclear plant

By JT - Feb 11,2014 - Last updated at Feb 11,2014

AMMAN — The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has commended the Jordan Atomic Energy Commission’s (JAEC) assessment studies of the Kingdom’s planned nuclear plant.

In a letter sent last week, the IAEA recommended that Jordan be considered a case model in conducting assessment studies for locations of nuclear plants.

The letter came following a visit of a delegation from the IAEA-affiliated International Seismic Safety Centre to the Kingdom.

According to the Jordan News Agency, Petra, the IAEA also recommended that countries wishing to build nuclear reactors make use of Jordanian expertise in the field.

The agency cited the high safety requirements set by JAEC when selecting the location of the nuclear plant, Petra said.

Jordan followed the IAEA’s safety regulations to the letter, the agency said, requesting JAEC’s permission to promote its experience in selecting nuclear plant locations to other countries, according to Petra.

IAEA delegates are scheduled to visit Jordan in April to further assess the studies conducted on the proposed site for Jordan’s planned nuclear plant, Jordan Nuclear Regulatory Commission (JNRC) President Majd Hawari said earlier this month.

IAEA experts will train JNRC personnel on conducting the environmental impact assessment required for the nuclear project.

In October last year, JAEC announced plans to construct twin 1,000-megawatt reactors in the Qusayr Amra region east of Amman.

It cited the site’s distance from major urban centres and proximity to the Khirbet Samra Wastewater Treatment Plant among its advantages.

The commission selected the Russian Federal Agency for Atomic Energy (Rosatom) as the preferred vendor to construct the reactors by 2021.

Activists and local residents claim that the reactors threaten underground aquifers in Azraq, some 15 kilometres from the proposed site.

In late January, JAEC said it will sign an agreement with Rosatom in mid-February to develop the Kingdom’s first nuclear plant.

The Russian company has agreed to take on 49 per cent of the plants’ $10 billion construction and operation costs on a build-own-operate basis, with the government shouldering the remaining 51 per cent and retaining a majority share in the plants.

Also on Monday, the JNRC signed a $1.9-million agreement with the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission to build the capacities of 25 JNRC engineers responsible for licensing the nuclear research reactor at the Jordan University of Science and Technology.

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