Rosatom set to build Jordan's first nuclear power plant

Rosatom State Nuclear Energy Corporation is set to build Jordan's first nuclear power station, according to a release from the Russian government. Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has approved a draft agreement for the construction and maintenance of the new nuclear station, which will be comprised of two 1,000-megawatt (MW) nuclear reactor units.

With approval of the draft agreement, Jordan and Russia have entered negotiations over electricity pricing in order to reach a final agreement and break ground on the reactors by 2015, according to the Jordan Times. The first unit is anticipated to launch in 2024 and the second in 2026.

In January 2011, Jordan began accepting bids for the construction of its first nuclear power facility, and in 2013 announced Rosatom as the preferred bidder over proposals from France’s AREVA and Canada’s AECL. Jordan's energy officials have cited the safety record of Rosatom's AES92 VVER1000 reactor technology as a key factor in pursuing Russia's bid. Financial benefits are also believed to have played an important role.  Under Rosatom’s proposal, the Russian state-owned firm would pay 49 percent of the estimated $10 billion cost of the station while Jordan would pay the remaining 51 percent to retain a majority stake in the nuclear project. 

Jordan’s nuclear project is aimed at increasing the nation’s energy independence and stabilizing energy supplies. Jordan currently imports 95 percent of its energy, according to the World Nuclear Association. The energy it generates itself is mainly from oil and diesel fuel, though historically it has also produced a large amount of power from natural gas.

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