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Jordan Abandons Nuclear Station Deal With Russia

By Kamen Kraev
12 June 2018

12 Jun (NucNet): Jordan has scrapped a $10bn (€8.5bn) deal with Russia to build the Middle Eastern kingdom’s first nuclear power station, reports in local media said today.

The Jordan Atomic Energy Commission (JAEC) sent a statement to the Jordan Times saying the Jordanian government decided to abandon the deal with Russia over disagreements on its financing.

“The Russians requested obtaining loans from commercial banks, which would have increased the cost of the project and the prices of generated electricity. The Jordanian government rejected the proposal”, the statement said.

Commercial loans would have made the prices of electricity generated by the proposed nuclear station uncompetitive, JAEC said.

A statement published on JAEC’s official website said that a meeting was called in 2017 to work out a final investment decision for the project and potentially attracting external financing and investors.

In September 2014, Russia’s state nuclear corporation Rosatom signed a pre-investment contract for the construction in Jordan of two VVER-1000 units. In March 2015, Rosatom and JAEC signed an intergovernmental agreement for construction of the units. The first unit was expected to go online in 2022.

JAEC said it has conducted a number of feasibility and technical studies on the nuclear power station project, which were not fully related to the use of Russian technology.

The nuclear station project will be continued and open to the eventual participation of other technology providers, JAEC said.

In May 2018, JAEC signed an agreement with Rosatom to perform a feasibility study on the deployment of a low-power small modular reactor (SMR).

In November 2017, Rolls-Royce signed a memorandum of understanding with JAEC to carry out a technical feasibility study for the construction of a Rolls-Royce SMR in Jordan.

JAEC said it is also interested in developing high-temperature gas-cooled reactor (HTR) technology.

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