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Jordan stresses nuclear project as its strategic choice for future energy
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08:57, December 17, 2008

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Jordan's Prime Minister Nader Dahabi stressed Tuesday that peaceful nuclear project is the kingdom's strategic choice for future energy.

"This project is vital and will have a positive impact on different economic sectors in the kingdom," Dahabi told visiting deputy executive director of French nuclear giant Areva, Jean-Jacques Gautrot.

The premier, meanwhile, underlined dire need to forge a comprehensive outlook governing cooperation between the Jordan Atomic Energy Commission (JAEC) and Areva in fields of extricatingand mining uranium and training Jordanian nuclear cadres.

Jordan has signed an agreement of cooperation with Areva, under which a joint venture is established to exploit uranium in the kingdom.

Unlike its oil-rich neighbors, Jordan faces grave energy challenges as it lacks conventional energy resources, with scarcity of water.

Currently, about 96 percent of the country's energy needs were met by imports from neighboring states, mainly Saudi Arabia and Egypt, at a cost of some 20 percent of its gross domestic products.

In a drive to reduce the country's dependence on imported hydrocarbons, the government mapped out a nuclear energy program last year, under which Jordan will have its first nuclear reactor up and running by 2016, with more to be built in the years leading up to 2030.

By that time, 30 percent of the kingdom's electricity needs will be met by nuclear power stations, with excess production to be made available for export, according to the national strategy on nuclear energy.

In order to seek international help on pumping nuclear energy, Jordan has managed to win supports from the UN nuclear watch dog International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the United States and the European Union among others, while inking a series of cooperation deals with countries like France, Canada, Britain, China and South Korea.

Source:Xinhua



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