Jordan and Russia strike nuclear deal despite tribal outcry

Jordan and Russia strike nuclear deal despite tribal outcry
Amid threats of a "tribal revolution", Jordan's first nuclear power plan will be built by Russian state company Rosatom after Moscow agreed to host spent fuel rods and nuclear waste.
2 min read
22 March, 2015
'Beware the revolution of the tribes': The nuclear deal is sparking unrest across Jordan [Anadolu]
Jordan and Russia announced on Saturday a deal to construct the kingdom's first nuclear power plant.

The deal covers issues such as nuclear waste and spent nuclear fuel that Jordan will send to Russia, said Khaled Toukan, chief of the Jordan Atomic Energy Commission (JAEC).

'Tribal revolution'

After years in the pipeline, the Russian state-owned Rosatom won the tender for the $10 billion plant.

Toukan explained that the agreement presents a legal and policy framework for the Amman and Moscow governments to support the project.

Jordan said that Russia's agreement to take away the spent rods and radioactive waste was what clinched the deal.

Many Jordanians strongly oppose the building of a nuclear power plant in east Jordan, and have even warned of a "tribal revolution" if the deal goes ahead.

The JAEC chief also said that Russia was committed to supplying the power plant with nuclear fuel for the first ten years of its operation.
     The Russian state company Rosatom won the tender for the $10 billion nuclear plant.

Jordan reserves the right to choose the fuel supplier for the remaining 50 years of the plant's intended operation.

Toukan reassured the Jordanian public that the power plant would be governed by country's laws from the beginning to the end of its service.

State agreement

JAEC had signed an initial agreement last November with representatives of the Russian government.

Toukan added that the director of Rosatom, who was appointed by Russian President Vladamir Putin, will attend the signing of the agreement.

Jordan will fund 50.1 percent of the project through strategic partnerships with foreign investors and the private sector.

Government spending on the project reached $93.2 million between 2008 and 2013, in addition to an allocation of $43.71 million from a $98.7 million loan granted by South Korea to Jordan in 2001.

This article is an edited translation from our Arabic edition.