This report provides information on the status and development of nuclear power programmes in Jordan, including factors related to the effective planning, decision making and implementation of the nuclear power programme that together lead to safe and economical operation of nuclear power plants.
The CNPP summarizes organizational and industrial aspects of nuclear power programmes and provides information about the relevant legislative, regulatory and international framework in Jordan.
Currently, the NPP project in Jordan is in the development phase. While construction has not yet started, plans to have an NPP by 2028 are under preparation.
1. COUNTRY ENERGY OVERVIEW
1.1. ENERGY INFORMATION
1.1.1. Energy policy
The national energy policy of Jordan aims at providing adequate energy for sustainable development at the lowest cost.
To reduce the burden on Jordan’s economy, the strategy is based on exploitation of all available local energy sources, to minimize reliance on imported energy to the extent possible. The strategy has the following objectives:
To ensure security of supply of all energy forms and to strengthen regional interconnections for electricity and gas;
To diversify energy sources such as by gradually replacing fuel oil in different industries and for electricity generation;
To enhance the use of local energy resources, especially uranium and oil shale;
To increase the share of renewable energy in the total energy mix;
To adopt the principles of privatization to alleviate administrative and procedural restrictions, enabling the private sector to invest according to the market forces in a competitive environment;
To attract international oil and gas companies to explore in Jordan;
To formulate pricing policies and improve pricing levels and structures;
To reform the petroleum sector by liberalizing petroleum, rationalizing pricing and the tax structure, and dismantling monopolies;
To promote energy efficiency to reduce energy intensity and rationalize demand growth.
1.1.2. Estimated available energy
TABLE 1. ESTIMATED AVAILABLE ENERGY SOURCES
|Total amount in specific units*||40 000||-||300.00||70 000.00||-||0.00|
|Total amount in exajoules (EJ)||251.00||-||0.95||38.10||-||0.05|
*Solid, liquid: million tonnes; gas: billion m3; uranium: metric tonnes; hydro, renewables: TW.
Source: Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, 2015
1.1.3. Energy Statistics
TABLE 2. ENERGY STATISTICS
|Year||1980||1990||2000||2005||2010||2015||Compound Annual Growth Rate (%)
|Energy consumption [EJ]**|
|Energy production [EJ]|
|Net import (Import - Export) [EJ]|
*Latest available data.
**Energy consumption = Primary energy consumption + Net imports (imports - exports) of secondary energy.
***Solid fuels include coal, lignite.
Source: National Electric Power Company, 2016
Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, 2016
1.2. THE ELECTRICITY SYSTEM
1.2.1. Electricity policy and decision making process
The main power entity in Jordan, the government owned Jordan Electricity Authority (JEA), was the main electric power monopoly for the generation, transmission and distribution of centralized grid power. To promote greater efficiency and sustainability in the system, a process of reforms was started. In 2001, the Jordan Electricity Regulatory Commission (ERC) was established to regulate the electricity sector based on free market economic principles and thereby create a level playing field to encourage the participation of all interested stakeholders. The tasks of the ERC were taken over by the Energy and Minerals Regulatory Commission (EMRC) in 2014.
As part of the reform process, the generation and distribution areas of the electricity market are being deregulated. Three separate generation companies and three distribution companies were established for the various parts of the country. These are to be individually licensed, and only the transmission area is to remain under the government controlled National Electric Power Company (NEPCO).
1.2.2. Structure of electric power sector
Energy and Minerals Regulatory Commission (EMRC)
The EMRC is a financially and administratively independent commission that was established based on a Council of Ministers decision in 2014.
Its responsibilities include:
Regulating the energy sector by balancing the interests of consumers, licensees, investors and any other relevant parties, including regulating and monitoring the uses of the nuclear, radioactive and ionized radiation energy sector.
Ensuring that the conditions and requirements for public safety, radiation protection, and nuclear safety and security are in place, and protecting human health, the environment and property from the effects of ionizing radiation.
Attending to the interests of electricity consumers, providing for compliance with the conditions on the provision of services issued by the licensees and approved by the EMRC, maintaining and developing an active structure to contribute to and promote the energy sector’s economic feasibility and enhance its efficiency.
Ensuring the provision of adequate, safe, stable, ongoing, quality services while ensuring the compliance of enterprises working in the sector with the environmental protection standards and laws and the general safety conditions applicable in Jordan.
Regulating the best utilization of mineral resources, including the extraction and excavation of stone minerals, and investment in, and setting and preparing the market for, minerals.
National Electric Power Company (NEPCO)
NEPCO is considered to be the natural and legal successor to the JEA, which was established in accordance with special Decree No. 21 of 1967 with an independent financial and administrative existence. To enable the new company to perform its activities, Decree No. 10 of 1996, subsequently amended by Decree No. 13 of 1999, was issued to regulate the electricity sector in Jordan. Accordingly, NEPCO was restructured into three separate companies. The government maintained ownership of the activities of transmission, power control, power purchase and sale, and power exchange with neighbouring countries. NEPCO’s activities include the following:
To plan, construct, develop, operate and maintain the power system;
To purchase electrical energy from various sources and sell it to distribution companies and large consumers (single buyer);
To procure natural gas for power stations;
To maintain safe and economical operation of the power system;
To import and export electric power;
To award contracts for new generation capacities.
Central Electricity Generating Company (CEGCO)
The Central Electricity Generating Company (CEGCO) began operation on 1 January 1999 as a public company stemming from the governmental policies related to the restructuring of the electrical sector. On 20 September 2007, CEGCO was privatized. Energy Arabia (Enara), a company established by Jordan Dubai Energy, the energy investment arm of Jordan Dubai Capital, announced the purchase of 51% of the total shares, the Government of Jordan retained 40% of the shares, and the remaining 9% of shares were transferred to the investment unit of the Social Security Corporation. CEGCO currently owns about 1600 MW of generation capacity, and its activities include power generation and the operation and maintenance of power plants.
Samra Electric Power Generation Company (SEPGCO)
Samra Electric Power Generating Company (SEPGCO) is owned by the Government of Jordan. It was established on 27 August 2003, under the provisions of Corporations Law No. 22 of 1997. SEPGCO currently owns 500 MW of generation capacity, and its activities are similar to those of CEGCO.
AES Jordan PSC
In April 2007, AES expanded its operations into Jordan, where it constructed the country’s first independent power project, a 370 MW combined cycle gas fired power plant located just East of Amman. The project, called AES Jordan PSC (also known as the Amman East Power Plant) started commercial operation in September 2009.
Jordan Electric Power Company (JEPCO)
The Jordan Electric Power Company (JEPCO) was established by the private sector in 1938. JEPCO is an electricity distribution company with a concession that covers the central part of Jordan. The concession gives JEPCO the right to distribute electricity in an area that includes major cities such as Amman, Zarqa, Salt and Madaba.
Irbid District Electricity Company (IDECO)
The Irbid District Electricity Company (IDECO) was established in 1957. It operates under a concession agreement and electricity licence granting it the exclusive right to distribute and supply electricity in the northern region of Jordan, which includes Irbid, Jarash, Ajloun and parts of the Balqa district. The company was privatized through the sale of 55.4% of its shares to the Kingdom Electricity Company (KEC), which is owned by the Dubai Capital Company.
Electricity Distribution Company (EDCO)
The Electricity Distribution Company (EDCO) was established in 1998 as a public shareholding company. The company operates under concession law granting EDCO the exclusive right to distribute and supply electricity in the southern region of Jordan. EDCO was privatized in 2008 through the sale of 100% of its shares to KEC, which is owned by the Dubai Capital Company.
1.2.3. Main indicators
TABLE 3. ELECTRICITY PRODUCTION, CONSUMPTION AND CAPACITY
|Year||1980||1990||2000||2005||2010||2015||Compound Annual Growth Rate (%)
|Capacity of electrical plants (GW(e))||G/N|
|- Other renewable||-||-||0.001||0.001||0.004||0.0035||8.70|
|Electricity production (TW·h)||G/N|
|- Other renewable||0.000||0.000||0.003||0.005||0.007||0.008||6.7|
|Total electricity consumption (TW·h)||0.877||3.089||6.133||8.712||11.956||16.178||6.4|
Source: National Electric Power Company, 2016
TABLE 4. ENERGY RELATED RATIOS
|Energy consumption per capita (GJ/capita)||29.6||36.3||42.5||53.8||54.2||58.8|
|Electricity consumption per capita (kW·h/capita)||482.0||1 054.0||1 472.0||1 939.0||2 427.0||2 318|
|Electricity production/Energy production (%)||-||-||33.4||34.0||44.0||-|
|Nuclear/Total electricity (%)||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|Ratio of external dependency (%)*||99.0||97.0||97.0||97.0||97.0||97.0|
*Most recent data available.
**Net import / Total energy consumption.
Source: National Electric Power Company, 2016
Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, 2016
2. NUCLEAR POWER SITUATION
2.1. HISTORICAL DEVELOPMENT AND CURRENT ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE
Historically, the Jordan Nuclear Energy Commission (JNEC), an agency whose board of directors was chaired by the Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources, was involved in developing a national strategy for the introduction of civilian nuclear power into the energy mix.
To prioritize the development of nuclear power, a high level ministerial committee chaired by the Prime Minister was established in November 2006 to explore the option of, and to marshal national efforts for, the introduction of nuclear power in the country. The committee produced a ‘roadmap’ that outlined the strategic goals and activities to be undertaken to implement a nuclear power programme. In essence, the committee, along with a supporting technical group, drawn from various ministries and agencies at the director general or deputy minister level, fulfilled the function of the nuclear energy programme implementing organization (NEPIO).
A Royal Decree to pursue nuclear power was issued in January 2007, taking into account national goals for energy security and diversification, and a desire to reduce dependence on and uncertainty of imports.
This was accompanied by the allocation of resources for planning and by the enactment of National Laws 42/2007 and 43/2007 to establish guidelines and institutions, specifically the Jordan Atomic Energy Commission (JAEC) and the Jordan Nuclear Regulatory Commission (JNRC). In 2014, the JNRC was restructured and merged with other regulatory commissions in Jordan to become the EMRC.
The high level committee was replaced by an interministerial committee in 2009, chaired by the minister of planning and including the Ministers of Energy, Environment, Finance, Water and Irrigation , in addition to the Chair of JAEC and the Director General of the JNRC. In 2010, a new high level committee was formed and chaired by the Prime Minister, replacing the previous interministerial committee; in July 2010, it was decided to establish a NEPIO steering committee.
2.1.2. Current organizational structure
The national organizational structure for the implementation of the nuclear power programme is depicted in Fig. 1. JAEC has direct responsibility for the development and implementation of the nuclear power programme. The JNRC regulates, monitors, controls and issues licences for applications of nuclear energy to ensure nuclear safety and security. Both JAEC and the EMRC report to the prime minister (PM).
FIG. 1. National structure for implementation of the nuclear power programme.
2.2. NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS: OVERVIEW
2.2.1. Status and performance of nuclear power plants
Table 5 is not applicable.
2.2.2. Plant upgrading, plant life management and licence renewals
2.2.3. Permanent shutdown and decommissioning process
Table 6 is not applicable.
2.3. FUTURE DEVELOPMENT OF THE NUCLEAR POWER SECTOR
2.3.1. Nuclear power development strategy
The uncertainty of energy supplies and their increasing cost are severely affecting the growth of Jordan’s economy and the security of energy supplies. As Jordan currently imports more than 98% of its energy needs, the development of secure alternative energy supplies is a top priority. Jordan has limited options to substitute oil products. The main option is imported natural gas, which is a short to medium term option and cannot be relied upon for the long. Consequently, natural gas should be used as a flexible source in the future to address peak demand. In the interim, renewable energy will be developed to the fullest possible extent. Oil shale is a medium term solution that can be used to generate electricity.
Jordan’s energy strategy aims to achieve a sustainable energy system through the diversification of energy resources and maximum use of indigenous energy resources. Jordan’s dependence on a single source of energy to produce electricity has made its economy susceptible to frequent shocks. In the energy strategy adopted, nuclear is viewed as a viable alternative for producing electricity accounting for 20% of the energy mix. Furthermore, Jordan enjoys vast unexploited deposits of uranium that can be used as feed material for its nuclear fuel.
Since 2001, Jordan has developed a national strategy for civilian nuclear power that aims to:
Ensure the security of energy supply;
Diversify the sources for electricity generation;
Provide a competitive energy source;
Reduce the amount paid for imported fossil fuels;
Exploit the national uranium resources;
Encourage partnerships between the public and private sectors;
Ensure the transfer of optimum technology and national worker contributions;
Develop industries related to the energy sector;
Reduce the greenhouse gas emissions from power generation.
JAEC has carried out studies regarding site characterization and the environmental impact assessment, as well as a grid study, an electricity market research study, a cooling system optimization study and a study of financing options.
In 2011, JAEC issued a bid invitation specification to three potential NPP technology suppliers to build Jordan’s first NPP. Based on a competitive bidding process, the Government of Jordan selected the State Atomic Energy Corporation “Rosatom” (the joint-stock company Atomstroyexport (ASE)) and Rusatom Overseas (RAOS) as the preferred bidder (technology vendor, investor and operator). On behalf of the Government of Japan, JAEC signed the project development agreement with RAOS on 22 September 2014. The agreement identifies project specific activities to be carried out by both parties during the development phase as well as specific criteria for the investment decision.
On 24 March 2015, the Government of Jordan and the Government of the Russian Federation signed an inter-governmental agreement on cooperation for the construction and operation of the NPP.
The proposed NPP will be composed of two pressurized water reactors based on the Russian AES-92 (WWER-1000 design). This design is a Generation III+ advanced reactor with the highest nuclear safety and security standards.
The Jordan Nuclear Power Company was established in October 2015 to implement the project using a two phase approach: The first phase, the pre-investment phase, includes financing requirements, site characterization and the environmental impact assessment, in addition to negotiations with ASE and the strategic partner (RAOS) on all project related agreements. The investment phase, phase two of the project, is the implementation and construction phase, leading to production, operation and, ultimately, decommissioning at the end of the plant’s power production life.
The duration of the project phases was planned and estimated as follows:
Pre-investment phase (phase 1);
Investment phase/construction phase (phase 2).
JAEC has procured the services of international consultants to carry out an electricity market research study, a grid study, a cooling system optimization study and a study of financing options.
JAEC has also embarked on a parallel track whereby it will assess small modular reactor technologies. After conducting the assessment, a short list of the most viable technologies will be selected and a detailed feasibility study will be conducted for the potential deployment of the shortlisted technologies in Jordan.
TABLE 7. PLANNED NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS
|Station/Project Name||Type||Capacity||Expected Construction Start Year||Expected Commercial Year|
|Jordan Nuclear Power Plant||PWR||1000||2023||2028|
2.3.2. Project management
Implementation of the NPP project is based on a public–private partnership model. At the outset, the Jordanian side will own 50.1% and RAOS will own 49.9%. ASE is the EPC (engineering, procurement and construction) contractor for the project, whereas an affiliate of Rosatom will be the Russian strategic partner and operator of the NPP.
JAEC will continue to set the nuclear policy and strategy, manage future nuclear projects and act as the waste management organization; in the future, it will also provide technical support to both the Jordan Nuclear Power Company and the regulator (the EMRC), thus maintaining a separation between the two groups providing the services.
2.3.3. Project funding
JAEC is exploring various funding and financing options for the NPP. Currently, the Government is funding all pre-construction activities for the project. It is also expected to acquire shares of the equity of the NPP and to guarantee a long term power purchase agreement.
Jordan is inclined to pursue a public–private partnership but is also exploring other options, such as a ‘build-own-operate’ or ‘build-operate-transfer’ plan.
Under either approach, Jordan will contract much of the short term responsibility (5–10 years) for plant operation and maintenance to the international operator. In the long term, Jordan will develop these capabilities locally.
2.3.4. Electric grid development
Jordan is planning to acquire a 700–1200 MW reactor to be operational by 2028–2029. Jordan has started site characterization studies, and is securing funding, selecting a vendor and developing a workforce. Jordan’s electrical load of 3000 MW(e), which will reach 4500 MW(e) by 2020 (see Fig. 2), is relatively small and may be able to support a 1000–1200 MW(e) reactor by taking the following measures:
Interconnecting with north Saudi Arabia;
Upgrading the interconnection with Egypt and Syria;
Upgrading the interconnection with the West Bank;
Signing a long term electricity export agreement with neighbouring countries;
Using the nuclear reactor for dual use, including seawater desalination.
FIG. 2. Jordan’s projected electrical load, 2016–2054.
Jordan’s electricity grid is currently interconnected with the grids in Egypt, Lebanon, Libya, Palestine, the Syrian Arab Republic and Turkey; it may be connected to those in Iraq and Saudi Arabia in the future. With the exception of Saudi Arabia, all participate in grid sharing through a multi-party agreement. Jordan welcomes the idea to connect to the integrated grid of the Gulf Cooperation Council — Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates — in the future.
In 2009, JAEC launched environmental and feasibility studies for siting Jordan’s first NPP. External international consultants were engaged to develop a countrywide survey study that explored potential sites in conformity with international safety standards.
A potential site considered for the location of the JNPP was close to Aqaba, in the south of Jordan. However, considering the high seismicity of the region and the additional engineering cost to construct an NPP on this site, investigation was shifted to a new site located north of Amman, which included approximately 10 km of flat and undulating surface sufficient for construction. The site was close to the main As-Samra Wastewater Treatment Plant, and the quantity of treated wastewater would have been sufficient to meet the cooling water requirements for the NPP. However, after the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in 2011, and in response to public concerns about the proximity of the NPP to population centres, JAEC decided to move the exploration 60 km northeast of Amman, on the edge of the northern desert near the Qasr Amra area in the central part of Jordan (see Fig. 4). In November 2014, JAEC selected an international consultant to carry out a detailed site characterization and an environmental impact assessment study. These studies are expected to be completed by 2019.
2.3.6. Public awareness
To address public acceptance within Jordan, a media campaign was launched in which radio, television and social media were used to disseminate accurate, factually correct information and to highlight the benefits of a national nuclear power programme, in particular that of meeting the country’s energy challenges.
JAEC recognizes the need to commission polls. In the summer of 2016, it conducted an extensive national survey entitled ‘The Status, Knowledge and Perceptions of Jordanian Society on Jordan’s Nuclear Power Programme’ was conducted. A national sample comprising 2505 persons above the age of 18 years was recruited, 500 of them from the southern Amman areas and areas near the Jordan University of Science and Technology (JUST); 50% male and 50% female respondents were randomly selected from 209 locations covering the entire country. A second sample of opinion leaders consisted of 700 persons, with a 96.6% response rate, stratified into seven groups: senior statespersons, businesspersons, parties, professionals, associations and unions, authors and journalists, and university professors.
The results indicated that:
- More than 67% think that the Government of Jordan should put nuclear energy on the hierarchy of its strategic priorities.
- More than 70% think that Jordan should possess peaceful nuclear energy, if its neighbouring countries possess peaceful nuclear energy.
The survey provides a solid base to address gaps in understanding and points considered critical by opinion leaders and/or the general public.
2.4. ORGANIZATIONS INVOLVED IN CONSTRUCTION OF NPPs
JAEC is responsible for planning and implementing nuclear power projects, with the assistance of external consultants. Its policy is to leverage Jordan’s industrial capacity, in particular its construction companies, architect–engineering firms, and cement and steel industries, to support the construction of the nuclear power programme.
A national localization committee was established in 2014 to develop the policy and identify areas of expected localization during different phases of the project, to be endorsed by the Government.
FIG. 3. Project structure.
2.5. ORGANIZATIONS INVOLVED IN OPERATION OF NPPs
The following organizations will be involved in operation of Jordan’s NPPs:
Project company: Owner and operator.
JAEC: Policy and technical support organization.
Fuel supplier: To be determined.
Investors: To be determined.
Ministry of Water and Irrigation: Water supply agreement.
NEPCO: Electricity offtaker.
EMRC: Regulations and licences.
Ministry of Housing and Public Works: Off-site infrastructure.
Other organizations will also be involved in the operation of Jordan’s NPPs according to future developments.
2.6. ORGANIZATIONS INVOLVED IN DECOMMISSIONING OF NPPs
The following organizations will be involved in decommissioning of Jordan’s NPPs:
Project company: Owner and operator.
JAEC: Policy and technical support organization.
EMRC: Regulations and licences.
2.7. FUEL CYCLE, INCLUDING WASTE MANAGEMENT
JAEC is responsible for the long term management of spent nuclear fuel and radioactive waste. The Government of Jordan adopted a national policy for radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel management in July 2015. The policy includes the following main elements:
Spent nuclear fuel is considered to be a strategic resource and not radioactive waste.
Reprocessing within and outside Jordan is allowed.
Importing radioactive waste is not permitted.
Provision is made for the establishment of facilities to dispose of radioactive waste.
Research and development of back-end fuel cycle capabilities based on commercial viabilities is encouraged, with indigenous capabilities covering radioactive waste management and treatment facilities, spent fuel management and reprocessing facilities, and disposal facilities for radioactive wastes up to and including high (or heat generating) waste.
Jordan presented its first national report during the Sixth Review Meeting of the Joint Convention on the Safety of Spent Fuel Management and on the Safety of Radioactive Waste Management, which took place in May 2018 at IAEA Headquarters in Vienna.
Based on a countrywide airborne magnetic and spectrometric survey conducted in the early 1980s, four areas with relatively high levels of radiometric anomalies were identified as potentially containing significant amounts of surficial uranium deposits: the Central Jordan Area (CJA), the Hasa-Qatarana Area, the Wadi Bahiya/Bayer Area and the Sahab Elabiad/Shediyya Area.
JAEC officially launched the Jordanian Uranium Mining Company (JUMCO) in 2013 to manage the Central Jordan Uranium Project and granted JUMCO exclusive exploration rights within the project, which extend until completion of a bankable feasibility study.
The responsibilities assigned to JUMCO can be summarized as follows:
Uranium exploration in the Central Jordan Area in accordance with international standards, enabling derivation of uranium resource estimates that are Joint Ore Reserves Committee compliant;
Development of optimized uranium ore processing, leading to the development of a pilot scale mining plant;
Completion of a bankable feasibility study for the purpose of producing yellowcake (U3O8) from the Central Jordan Area ore using indigenous resources;
Securing of the financing required to launch full scale mining plant(s) capable of producing ~400 and ultimately ~1500 metric tonnes of yellowcake (U3O8) annually.
Utilization of the product as feed material for Jordan’s NPPs and for a proposed regional fuel bank;
Marketing of the product (yellowcake).
Development of the uranium extraction process consists of the following phases:
Laboratory scale experiments and ore characterization (Phase I);
Bulk sample studies and parameter evaluations (Phase II_A);
Semi-pilot scale column testing and hydraulic studies (Phase II_B);
Pilot scale column testing and load percolation (Phase III_A);
Pilot plant (Phase III_B).
The work already done has been characterized by two major milestone achievements:
Publication of the third phase of the resource estimation report, which for the first time has upgraded part of the Central Jordan Area uranium resource classification to the ‘measured’ category. This new estimate was prompted by the encouraging results of the metallurgical tests that suggested that mineralization is amenable to processing by heap leach technology, culminating in the production of yellowcake.
The finalization of the design of the pilot plant and the commencement of civil, electromechanical and automation works.
2.8. RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
2.8.1. R&D organizations
Among the most prominent achievements of JAEC research and development are the Jordan Subcritical Assembly (JSA) and the Jordan Research and Training Reactor (JRTR).
The JRTR is being built on the campus of JUST by the Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute and the Daewoo Engineering and Construction (KDC) consortium. It is expected to be the cornerstone of a centre of excellence in nuclear science and technology in Jordan. The JRTR is a multipurpose 5 MW(th) reactor that can be upgraded to a 10 MW(th) reactor.
Construction of the research reactor and of auxiliary buildings has been successfully completed. The reactor commissioning programme was conducted in 2016. The operating licence of the reactor was granted in November 2017.
The JRTR will provide a strong training and research platform for nuclear engineering students and other nuclear science experts. It will also be used for radioisotope production in support of the region’s medical, industrial and agricultural sectors.
The JSA, located on the JUST campus, is the first nuclear facility to be constructed in Jordan for the purposes of education, training and experimental research. The JSA has a vertical platform structure, with the core vessel placed on a supporting structure while an operating platform surrounding the vessel is used for fuel loading and other operation and maintenance activities. Since its commissioning in 2013, the JSA is mainly being used for training of nuclear engineering students at the JUST Nuclear Reactor Physics Laboratory. Experiments conducted using the JSA include, but are not limited to, approach to criticality, flux mapping, reactivity determination using the source jerk method, and use of the Rossi alpha method and the Feynman alpha method.
2.8.2. Development of advanced nuclear technologies
2.8.3. International cooperation and initiatives
Jordan is an active member in the International Framework for Nuclear Energy Cooperation (previously the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership, or GNEP).
Jordan, represented by JAEC, has been negotiating nuclear cooperation agreements with several countries experienced in operating NPPs. These negotiations led to the signature of nuclear cooperation agreements with Argentina, Armenia, Canada, China, France, Italy, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Romania, the Russian Federation, Turkey and the United Kingdom.
2.9. HUMAN RESOURCES DEVELOPMENT
JAEC’s strategy for human resource development is to develop the knowledge and skills needed to support all phases of the Jordanian nuclear power programme in a timely manner. To achieve this objective, a plan for both educational and training programmes was developed.
Education and Training Programmes
The education and training programmes for the implementation of nuclear power entail the deployment of a multipronged training strategy that includes, inter alia, formal education in universities and community colleges; on the job training; facility specific training provided by reactor vendor organizations; direct participation during project implementation; and partnerships with experienced power utility organizations for initial operation of power plants.
Jordan is developing a training plan for human resources capacity building (e.g. engineers, experts, technicians) for its nuclear power programme. This should be implemented via the education system and additional professional training programmes covering:
The subjects related to Nuclear power (engineers, experts, technicians and other relevant personnel);
The specialized subjects in both scientific and technical disciplines;
On the job training (for personnel to experience real-time operation).
To achieve this national plan, the actions described in the next subsection are taken.
The educational programme is to be implemented through:
i. The establishment of an undergraduate programme in nuclear sciences and the upgrading of master’s degrees in nuclear engineering and management in Jordanian universities;
ii. The provision of scholarships and fellowships in nuclear fields from JAEC, Jordanian universities, and other institutions in Jordan and abroad;
iii. The establishment of a centre of excellence in collaboration with countries with advanced nuclear power programmes;
iv. Collaboration with regional and international agencies such as the IAEA in fields related to nuclear power and safety;
v. Postgraduate training at the best international institutes.
A number of educational institutions have established nuclear studies programmes to help achieve this goal. JUST established a Department of Nuclear Engineering in 2007, offering a bachelor’s degree to lead Jordan’s effort in developing its nuclear energy education infrastructure and to introduce nuclear power as part of its energy mix. The University of Jordan, Yarmouk University and Al-Balqa Applied University have started master’s degree programmes in nuclear physics.
The Department of Nuclear Engineering at JUST offers a five year bachelor of science degree in nuclear engineering. JUST has also signed memoranda of understanding with several foreign universities, proposing collaboration and exchanges in nuclear engineering at institutions such as North Carolina State University, the University of Illinois, Virginia Tech, Ohio State University, and the University of California.
JAEC made great efforts to assist JUST in developing its capabilities in its nuclear engineering programme. A subcritical assembly was built and installed at JUST in 2011. The JRTR will serve as an integral part of the nuclear technology infrastructure for education, training and isotope production. It will also become the focal point for a Nuclear Science and Technology Center and allow for training of nuclear engineers and operators and other technicians.
Under bilateral nuclear cooperation agreements or its own funding, Jordan is sending new graduates and staff abroad to receive training or to complete their postgraduate education in nuclear engineering and related fields. A total of 95 students have been sent on scholarships abroad for master of science and Ph.D. degrees in nuclear engineering and related fields, as well as specialized degrees.
Also, 28 engineers and technicians were trained at the Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute (KAERI) in the Republic of Korea on aspects related to the operation, supervision, monitoring and maintenance of the JRTR.
Jordan and France have agreed and signed a memorandum of understanding to establish a specialized centre of excellence to develop human resources with the qualifications needed to implement the nuclear programme. The centre will rely on the faculties and resources of both academic and technical institutions in Jordan. Initially the focus of the centre will be on developing the highly qualified project managers, nuclear safety professionals and technicians.
A training plan is under development to cover:
Fundamental and basic knowledge of NPPs (nuclear theory, general plant system, etc.) for new staff;
Practical and essential knowledge to improve the expertise of existing and new staff (operation, mechanical, electrical, instrumentation and control, core and fuel, safety, etc.);
Advanced specialized training in core areas.
The plan will be implemented through:
Contracts negotiated by the JAEC;
Local involvement and technology transfer from design to operation and maintenance;
Close cooperation for training and expert visits with international laboratories;
The IAEA’s technical cooperation programme (specialized training courses and workshops, fellowships programmes, scientific visits, national consultants, expert services);
Arab Atomic Energy Agency training opportunities.
Progress has been made on developing the basis for human resources requirements using IAEA guidance with:
Characterization of the resource pool.
Development of a national human resources development strategy based on the requirements of the main players, with three levels (nuclear, nuclearized and nuclear aware).
A systems approach to identification of timing, qualification and training needs for the various posts in the main organizations.
Development of an effective strategy for fulfilling the various needs using:
– Indigenous education and training capabilities;
– Vendor support;
– International support.
Knowledge management development.
2.10. STAKEHOLDER INVOLVEMENT
The Government of Jordan and JAEC are seeking input from key stakeholders at various critical phases of the country’s nuclear power programme, as well as keeping them aware of developments.
JAEC has developed a strategy which includes the following three phases:
1. Build awareness, inform and educate;
2. Engage different stakeholders;
3. Empower them to advocate the project.
JAEC has conducted a number of public information activities focused on key stakeholders such as parliamentarians and journalists; the activities are now focusing more on the ‘neutral’ general public and, in particular, young people.
Domestic public opposition has raised safety and environmental concerns since the accident at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi NPP in 2011. The programme has become the subject of increased domestic debate and a source of contention. In response to these concerns, the Government has intensified its efforts to clarify any misinformation and focus on the safety features of the NPP through several public awareness campaigns. The Government also aims at presenting the work undertaken by JAEC to date to reassure the public that all measures and international standards have been met for the safety and security of the NPP.
JAEC recognizes that a public information centre should be established. It is also considering a mobile information centre, following the practices in some other countries.
JAEC will work with other Jordanian governmental ministries and agencies in the areas of health, education, the economy and the environment to inform the public of the many advantages of nuclear applications and to prepare the ground for the broad support needed to make the Jordanian NPP project a success. Information on the many beneficial applications of nuclear techniques in medicine, basic science, food and agriculture, the environment and cultural heritage studies will also be created and shared with the media, opinion leaders and the public.
2.11. EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS
JAEC has identified and assessed the consideration of populations and emergency planning, in particular in relation to present and future land uses, characteristics and distribution of the population, radiological effects and risk.
The National Emergency Response Committee (NERC) conducted a gap analysis of the emergency communication networks for radiological and nuclear emergencies through the establishment of a response organization chart, and identified the roles and responsibilities of each national stakeholder participating in the emergency preparedness and response plan.
Working together, JAEC, the EMRC and the NERC have:
Developed basic regulations.
Established the national coordinating authority for emergency preparedness and response.
Established clear roles and responsibilities for each organization involved.
Established a clear chain of command for emergency response management.
Identified the size and type of accident to be covered by the plan.
Established control measures for the precautionary action zone and urgent protective action planning zone for threat category I and II (NPPs and research reactors).
To ensure complete preparedness for the full spectrum of incidents and threats at any of JAEC’s nuclear projects, JAEC has initiated a project to establish an Emergency Command Centre (ECC) to integrate the disaster prevention, preparedness, response and recovery at any of its projects. The ECC is designed to provide the board of commissioners, JAEC’s emergency experts and emergency stakeholders a secure and safe centralized location, with adequate communications for command and control during a disaster or emergency.
Once JAEC decided to build the research reactor, the radiological emergency department at JAEC started preparation of the off-site emergency preparedness plans based on the IAEA safety standards. The department is currently modelling several accident scenarios involving releases from large reactors on specific sites.
Emergency planning zones have been performed on specific sites for different nuclear reactors and technologies at the same time. The department is also developing an emergency communication plan and systems engineering processes of nuclear accident emergency exercise. The department is currently involved in developing sheltering and evacuation plans, the requirements for radiological incident first responders, and radiological accident classification, declaration and response procedures, and is also involved in the NPP siting process.
3. NATIONAL LAWS AND REGULATIONS
3.1. REGULATORY FRAMEWORK
3.1.1. Regulatory authority(s)
The JNRC was established in 2007 as a successor to the former JNEC, established in 2001. The JNRC is effectively an independent and adequately empowered regulatory body. It enjoys administrative and financial independence (see Fig. 6).
In 2014, the JNRC merged with other regulatory bodies (namely those for electricity production and mineral resources) under the EMRC, which is the regulatory authority tasked with regulating the safe use of nuclear energy. The EMRC coordinates and cooperates with the relevant authorities to regulate and control the use of nuclear energy and ionizing radiation, to protect human health and the environment from radioactive contamination and exposure to ionizing radiation, and to ensure that the conditions and requirements of safety and radiation protection and nuclear safety and security are met. The main objectives of the EMRC are to initiate regulations and inspection processes, to issue the personal and institutional permissions and licences needed for the operation of nuclear facilities, to verify the licensee’s obligations in meeting and matching the applicable legislation, and to communicate with the international bodies concerned with nuclear regulations to exchange experience and scientific research.
The EMRC is responsible for preparing laws, regulations and instructions for the safe use of nuclear energy based on the basic principles and requirements of nuclear safety, nuclear security, emergency and nuclear safeguards published by the IAEA and best international practices, to ensure that the activities and facilities are under EMRC regulations through the issuance of the licences or permits necessary for installations/facilities or individuals.
The EMRC is working to achieve commitment to treaties and international conventions related to nuclear applications such as the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, safeguards agreements and the Physical Protection Agreement.
3.1.2. Licensing process
The processes for licensing nuclear facilities and activities, reactor operators, management of spent fuel, and other related activities are under preparation by the EMRC.
Central Bank of Jordan, Amman (2016). www.cbj.gov.jo
Department of Statistics, Amman (2016). www.dos.gov.jo
Energy Mineral Regulatory Commission (2016). www.emrc.gov.jo
Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, “Energy Sector Strategy (2007-2020)”, Amman, (2007). www.memr.gov.jo.
National Electric Power Company, Amman, (2016). www.nepco.com.jo .
INTERNATIONAL, MULTILATERAL AND BILATERAL AGREEMENTS
AGREEMENTS WITH THE IAEA
|Agreement on the Privileges and Immunities of the International Atomic Energy Agency||Acceptance:||27 October 1982|
|Revised Supplementary Agreement Concerning the Provision of Technical Assistance by the International Atomic Energy Agency (RSA)||Signature:||5 February 1989|
|Agreement for the application of safeguards in connection with the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (with Protocol)||Entry into Force:||21 February 1978|
|Protocol Additional to the Agreement between the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and the International Atomic Energy Agency for the Application of Safeguards in Connection with the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons||Entry into Force:||28 July 1998|
|Co-operative Agreement for Arab States in Asia for Research, Development and Training Related to Nuclear Science and Technology (ARASIA) - First Extension||Acceptance:||9 October 2007|
MAIN INTERNATIONAL TREATIES
|Accession:||7 September 2009|
|Acceptance: ||7 October 2009|
|Ratification:||11 December 1987|
|Ratification:||11 December 1987|
|Ratification:||12 June 2009|
|Accession:||14 July 2016|
|Accession:||27 January 2014|
MAIN ORGANIZATIONS, INSTITUTIONS AND COMPANIES INVOLVED IN NUCLEAR POWER RELATED ACTIVITIES
|Name||Address||Telephone number||Facsimile number||e-mail address||Web site address||Main activities and production capabilities|
|Jordan Atomic Energy Commission||Amman-70 (11934) Jordan||+9626 firstname.lastname@example.org||www.jaec.gov.jo||Responsible for the development and implementation of the nuclear power programme|
|Jordan Nuclear Power Company||142755- Amman-11814 Jordan||+962658006100||+96265806129||---||---||Responsible for performing the pre-investment phase project development activities; operating organization|
|Energy and Minerals Regulatory Commission||1865, Amman 11821, Jordan||+9625805000||+962-6-5805026||---||www.emrc.gov.jo||Responsible for regulating the energy sector in Jordan|
|National Electric Power Company||2310-Amman 11181 Jordanemail@example.com||www.nepco.com.jo||Owns the electric transmission network and is responsible for operating the electrical system in Jordan and the electricity grid with neighbouring countries|
Name of report coordinator: Yazan Al-Bakhit
Institution: Jordan Atomic Energy Commission