Small modular reactor (SMR) developer NuScale, majority owned by Fluor Corporation, said Tuesday it had signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Jordan Atomic Energy Commission (JAEC) to pave the way for a feasibility study to look into SMR deployment in the country.
Jordan has had feelers out for development of a domestic nuclear power plant for over a decade. According to the World Nuclear Association, Jordan imports 95 percent of its energy. In 2007, the country’s Committee for Nuclear Strategy outlined plans to produce 30 percent of its electricity through a domestic nuclear power program, which would also allow the country to become an energy exporter.
Jordan came close to developing a large nuclear power plant, choosing Russia as the top bidder for a two-reactor plant with a combined 2000 MWe capacity. The project was to be cited in the Amra district, but Jordan scuttled the project due to high costs, despite Russia’s willingness to finance much of the deal.
Jordan has also signed similar feasibility study MOU agreements concerning modular reactors with X-Energy and Rolls Royce, the WNA reports.
NuScale, however, “is at the forefront of U.S. SMR technology,” said H.E. Dr. Khaled Toukan, JAEC chairman. “We look forward to this collaboration to assess the viability and potential for deployment of NuScale SMR technology in Jordan,” he said.
NuScale Power Chairman and Chief Executive Officer John Hopkins said the agreement would allow NuScale to “showcase our SMR’s unique capabilities, cost benefits and flexibility, all of which demonstrate what a game-changer this technology will be for Jordan.”
NuScale is the first company in the country to have the Nuclear Regulatory Commission review its SMR design. The safety evaluation for the design is expected to be completed by August 2020. NuScale anticipates that acceptance of the application will be announced in September 2020.
The company has already lined up two customers for a 12-module SMR plant. Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems has signed on to develop the plant, while the Department of Energy has signed an MOU that outlines its intention to buy electricity generated by two of the twelve 50 MWe units.
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