Jordan’s latest timeline for SMRs introduction

Jordan Energy Mix 

Jordan is very dependent on energy importation as for 2019, the dependence was up to 91%. While the electricity demand is growing by steady 2.3% annually. In 2019, the total Electricity Consumption was about 17910 GWh, divided mainly between natural gas with a contribution of 87% while the rest was from renewables. 

Jordan Nuclear Activities 

Jordan has been very active in the nuclear sector lately as the Hashimite kingdom inaugurated its research reactor (Jordan Research and Training Reactor (JRTR)) in December 2016. JRTR is an open pool 5-MWth upgradable to 10-MWth, its main prerogatives are: 

  • Neutron Beam Applications 
  • Radioisotope Production (I-131, Ir-192, Mo-99) 
  • Neutron Transmutation Doping 
  • Neutron Activation Analysis 
  • Plays the primary role in educating and training the upcoming generations of nuclear engineers and scientists. 
  • Irradiation in support of industrial, agricultural and health/medical infrastructure 

Jordan is blessed with soil rich in uranium which the country is counting to benefit from it while operating their future nuclear power plant. In 2016 the kingdom has confirmed around 300 Mega tonnes of uranium ores with an average overall grade of 137 ppm of yellow cake (U3O8). The same year, a yellow cake (U3O8 ) with 90% purity was produced from local resources and local capabilities. The future goals are to start producing 400 tonnes of yellow cake annually and increase production to 1000 tonnes per year to be utilized for the peaceful Jordanian Nuclear Power Plant fuel.

Nuclear Power Plant Project

The rationale behind Jordan’s pursuit of nuclear power and benefit the Jordan Atomic Energy Commission (JAEC) foresee are as follow: 

  • Competitive Electricity Source. 
  • Stability of Electricity Price. 
  • Fuel Diversity and Security of Supply. 
  • Reduce the Imported Fuel Bill. 
  • Reduce the CO2 Emissions. 
  • Water Desalination. 
  • Local higher education system and workforce skills development. 
  • National Industry Development. 
  • Jobs Creation (direct & indirect). 
  • Improve the Quality Assurance Systems

Jordan is pursuing two parallel tracks for the implementation of nuclear energy to the kingdom (large reactors and SMRs). Regarding a large reactor, the deployment of technology is expected to be post 2035 as it is on hold at the moment. Jordan is rather focusing on SMRs introduction in the short run. The graph below details Jordan’s requirements. 

The requirements are:

  • Advance Technology ( or better)
  • Proven Technology
  • Licensed Technology
  • Licensable in Jordan
  • NOAK
  • Deployable in 2030 2035 time frame
  • Transportability of Equipment
  • Constructability of the Project
  • Grid Compatibility
  • Economic and Financial Competitiveness
  • Other
    • Possibility of Dry Cooling
    • Co Generation
    • Limited EPZ

The differences between technologies and their impact on Jordan will be assessed through rigorous evaluation methodologies designed to bring full visibility and transparency:

  • Assessment of the vendor technology towards Key Factors (important for Jordan) 
  • Evaluation Matrix 
  • Best-in-Class for each evaluation criteria 
  • Price under competitive environment

Timeline of the SMR project development

JAEC has revised its deadline to include more options and SMR designs to their equation in addition to the 6 SMR designs already selected previously. The new timeline is as follows:

  • New Technologies Assessment: 06/2021  
  • BIS/RFP release: 9/2021  
  • Receiving proposals: 3/2022  
  • Proposals evaluation & selection: 1/2023  
  • Project Agreement negotiations: 1/2024  
  • Site Permit: 6/2025  
  • Construction Permit: 1/2027  
  • First concrete date: 6/2027  
  • Commercial operation date: 6/2032

 Main BIS Components: 

  • Commercial Requirements 
  • Legal Requirements 
  • Financial Requirements 
  • Technical Requirements 
  • Main Supporting Documents (Site, Grid, etc)

The Financial commercial and technical bid documents (BIS) have been prepared by JAEC for proposals for 200-400 MWe SMRs. Meanwhile, the Documents are currently being reviewed by the IAEA experts for comments. After review, JAEC experts will update the document so that it will be ready for release once approval is attained by JAEC upper management. Once approval is attained the documents will be released to vendors/technology providers which is expected to be by the third quarter of 2021. 

The insights provided above are taken from the discussion following NBP conversations: Jordan Nuclear Update on 17 September 2020, This virtual meeting has been a fantastic opportunity to showcase Jordan’s latest nuclear energy updates. The webinar saw the participation of:

  • Eng. Shorouq AbdelGhani, Director of Planning & Organizational Development, Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources.
  • Dr. Tariq Alshaketheep Head of Small Modular Reactors, Jordan Atomic Energy Commission
  • Eng. Shiran AlTaher, Head of Nuclear infrastructure & Crisis Management, Jordan Atomic Energy Commission
  • Mr. Mohammed Atiyat Director of the Nuclear Safety Directorate Energy & Minerals Regulatory Commission
  • Mr. Simon Irish, CEO, Terrestrial Energy
  • Dr. Eben Mulder Chief Nuclear Officer X-Energy

NBP Conversations

NBP Conversations is a series of online discussions which brings together a focus group of global nuclear stakeholders to discuss topics related to either nuclear energy adoption or expansion in the global markets. Thematic discussions could focus on either macro or micro issues.

Past editions of NBP Conversations include:

For more information or to get involved, contact [email protected]

By |2020-09-22T11:24:01+08:00September 22nd, 2020|industry-insights|0 Comments