27 May 2018 12:07

Rosatom to build SMR in Jordan instead of large NPP

MOSCOW. May 27 (Interfax) - The Jordan Atomic Energy Commission (JAEC) and Rosatom's subsidiary, Rusatom Overseas, have signed an agreement on developing a project to build a small module reactor (SMR) based on the Russian design in Jordan, the Russian company said.

"We have been cooperating with Rosatom for many years, and we are planning to develop this cooperation in various fields. Today, building an SMR seems more relevant, so we decided to focus on the project," Rosatom's press service cited JAEC Chairman Khaled Tukan as saying.

Russia has extensive expertise in SMRs. Rosatom will launch the first floating nuclear power plant (NPP), which is to become a reference project of an NPP of such type, in 2019. In addition, Rosatom develops projects of a Russia-designed land-based SMR. Jordan considers an opportunity to use all existing technologies to reduce the country's dependence on imported energy.

In December 2017, Rusatom Overseas and the JAEC agreed on conducting a feasibility study for building an NPP.

Jordan earlier abandoned the project to build an NPP, the contract for which Rosatom had won in 2013, the project was very expensive, the Jordan Times newspaper said on Saturday. The NPP with the capacity of 2,000 megawatts was supposed to cost $10 billion. The construction was to end in 2022. However, the Jordanian authorities decided that such expenditures would be unnecessary.

However, Amman does not plan to withhold its cooperation with Rosatom. Now it expects the Russian company's support in building SMRs, which would be safer and less expensive. At the same time, the Jordanian authorities hope to attract investors in this project.