Jordan seeks further cooperation with Russia in nuclear field

Published March 26th, 2015 - 06:36 GMT

His Majesty King Abdullah on Wednesday met Sergei Kiriyenko, head of Rosatom, Russia's state-run atomic energy corporation. 

King Abdullah underlined the significance of boosting cooperation between the Jordan Atomic Energy Commission (JAEC) and the Russian corporation, which resulted in the signing of the intergovernmental agreement with Russia on Tuesday to build and operate the first nuclear power plant, according to a Royal Court statement. 

The agreement represents the legal and political framework between the governments of the two countries, and highlights their support of the plan, which entails building two nuclear reactors with a total capacity of 2,000 megawatts at a total cost of $10 billion.

His Majesty called for benefiting from Russia's experience in this area to best serve the interests of Jordan. 

He listened to a briefing on means by which Russia can support the Kingdom in the area of generating electricity via nuclear power. 

Kiriyenko highlighted that the location chosen to host the station is in line with the highest environmental and technical standards and ensures the utmost public safety. 

He stressed his country's keenness to increase the number of Jordanians granted scholarships to pursue their education in nuclear energy-related fields in Russia to 30 each year, according to the statement. 

Also on Wednesday, Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour met the Russian official and stressed the need for paying attention to the public safety and security aspects of the yet-to-be established nuclear plant. 

Kiriyenko assured Ensour that the station will be a state-of-the-art facility with “strict” safety measures and equipment that is able to absorb seismic waves. 

He noted that his company will exert all efforts to attract investors from several countries to establish the plant according to most advanced technology. 

For his part, JAEC Chairman Khaled Toukan said Rosatom has more than 70 years of experience in the nuclear field and is currently constructing 20 nuclear stations, including 10 in Russia and the remaining in different countries, such as China and India, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported. 

He added that the corporation has signed preliminary contracts to build two to four nuclear plants in Egypt, while currently embarking on four plants on the Mediterranean shores of Turkey. 

The agreement with Jordan gives the government the option to return nuclear waste to the country of origin, Russia, after two decades of operating the plant, according to Toukan. 

“The government will not be required to provide any financial guarantees for funding, which will be extended from abroad… the government will also not take any risk in drawing up measures for financial guarantees,” he added. 

The JAEC chairman said the government will sign with the Russian firm a 15-year electricity purchase agreement.

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