August 26, 2008

Jordan to Buy Nuclear Reactor From France

Jordan to buy nuclear reactor from France

AMMAN, Aug. 25 (Xinhua) -- Energy-thirst Jordan plans to purchase a nuclear reactor from France to produce electricity and enriched uranium for peaceful purposes, Prime Minister Nader Dahabi was quoted by official news agency Petra on Monday.

Jordan is currently negotiating such a cooperation deal with a French company, Dahabi said in a meeting with members of the Jordanian-French Parliamentary Friendship Committee.

This comes as part of the kingdom's relentless efforts to seek energy independence through tapping its relatively rich uranic reserves.

It is estimated that Jordan can extract 80,000 tons of uranium from its uranic ores and that the country's phosphate reserves also contains some 100,000 tons of uranium, officials data showed.

Unlike its oil-rich neighbors, Jordan lacks energy resources. It depends on imports of oil and natural gas for 95 percent of its energy consumption, which annually costs nearly a quarter of its revenue, according to official data.

Jordan's King Abdullah II announced in January 2007 a civil nuclear energy program, under which a nuclear plant will be set up by 2015 and nuclear power is expected to make up 30 percent of its energy production by 2030.

So far, Jordan has signed nuclear cooperation deals with the U.S., France, Canada and Britain, with the latest one inked last Tuesday with China.

King Abdullah is expected to visit France this week and hold talks with French President Nicolas Sarkozy. France is the last stop of the king's several-day working tour, which has taken him to Russia and Turkmenistan.

(c) 2008 Xinhua News Agency - CEIS. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All rights Reserved.