Proposed site for Jordan's first nuclear power plant "geologically suitable"

08:15, April 27, 2010      

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Results of geological studies on a site in the Jordanian city of Aqaba proposed to host the kingdom's first nuclear power plant proved that it is suitable, Jordan's Atomic Energy Commission (JAEC) said Monday.

"The geological studies conducted by Belgian Tractabel Engineering (GDF-SUEZ) over the past few months indicated that the proposed site in Aqaba is suitable for the installment of the nuclear power plant," JAEC Chief Khaled Toukan said in a statement obtained by Xinhua.

The proposed site is located about 12 km to the east of the Aqaba coastline. The plant, expected to initially generate 750 to 1,100 megawatts of electricity annually, is scheduled to be operational by 2020.

Toukan said the fact that the site was proved to be geologically suitable for the plant gives the go-ahead for starting studies on site's environmental impacts and nuclear safety measures, stressing that the commission works in a transparent manner and follows internationally-adopted practices in selecting the safest and most secure site for the plant.

In October 2009, Belgian Tractabel Engineering (GDF-SUEZ), started the feasibility study for the kingdom's first nuclear power plant. The two-year study entails evaluating the geological stability, geophysics, soil characteristics and risk management of the proposed site of the plant.

In a workshop Sunday with international financing institutions, Toukan said the commission is studying the best means for financing the establishment of the plant based on a partnership between the public and the private sector to reduce reliance on funds from the state treasury.

French Foreign Trade Minister Anne-Marie Idrac, who was present at the workshop, stressed her country's support for Jordan in this regard.

The minister said cooperation between France and Jordan in this regard entails holding a workshop in June on nuclear safety technologies.

Jordan, which is planning to build 3-4 nuclear reactors for power generation, has signed nuclear cooperation agreements with several countries, including France, Russia, China and Argentina.



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