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Mon 14 Sep 2009 08:48 AM

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Jordan signs $12m nuclear deal with Tractebel

Deal is part of plans for the country's first nuclear power plant in Aqaba.

The Jordan Atomic Energy Commission (JAEC) has signed a US $12m agreement with Belgian firm Tractebel Engineering to assess the projected site of the country’s first nuclear power plant site in Aqaba.

Tractebel will carry out a two-year survey to assess geological stability, geophysics, soil characteristics and risk management at the site, about 12 kilometres inland from Jordan’s Red Sea coast.

“Our company will use its extensive experience and vast international resources to locate the best site possible for the proposed nuclear power plant,” Tractebel Engineering CEO Georges Cornet said at Saturday’s signing ceremony, according to the Jordan Times newspaper.

The paper added that JAEC had confirmed that two other companies, Jordan's Arab Consultants Bureau and France's Bureau Veritas, will cover public health, safety and security issues, water proximity and cooling water requirements, among other issues.

Work on the 750-1,100MW plant is scheduled to begin in 2012, and it is planned to be operational 10 years afterwards.

The JAEC chairman, Khaled Toukan, noted that a national technical committee of experts has conducted preliminary studies on the proposed location, adding that it can absorb three to four nuclear plants.

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