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Jordan's nuclear plans roll forward

Preferred bidder for construction contract to be announced by end-2009

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Jordan has plans to build three nuclear plants in the next 30 years.
Jordan has plans to build three nuclear plants in the next 30 years.

The Jordan Atomic Energy Commission (JAEC)will select an international consultant to help with the pre-construction phase of the country’s first nuclear power plant next month.

Local media says that JAEC is in the final process of evaluating some 10 firms that include companies from Russia, the UK and the US, to help build the plant in Aqaba Governorate.

The pre-construction contract will involve identifiying options for the nuclear fuel cycle, nuclear waste management, grid and reactor size, and desalination/water supply, as well as establishing a utility company and tender documents for the actual construction of the plant, according to the commission, as cited by the Jordan Times.

The 750-1,000MW plant will be built on a site south-east of Aqaba, about nine kilometres inland. There are four international bids vying for the construction contract, with JAEC set to announce the preferred bidder by the end of this year.

“It is almost impossible to think of a nation that has developed nuclear energy without first building a research reactor. Since we have taken the strategic decision to develop a nuclear power programme and move Jordan into the nuclear age, building a research reactor is another milestone that we have to reach on the road to nuclear energy,” JAEC research reactor project manager Ned Xoubi told the newspaper.

Jordan has plans to build four nuclear power plants within the next 30 years and has already signed cooperation agreements with France, China, South Korea, Canada, Russia and the UK.

You can read more about some of the world's biggest nuclear energy firms in Utilities Middle East's review of the sector, here.

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