Jordan picks French-Japan camp

Kyodo

The Jordan Atomic Energy Commission will give Russia’s Atomstroyexport and the Japan-French consortium Atomea priority negotiating rights for the country’s first nuclear power plant construction, diplomatic sources in Jordan said Monday.

The final vendor will be decided by year’s end, the sources said.

Canadian nuclear plant manufacturer Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. has dropped out of the race, leaving Atomstroyexport and the consortium comprising France’s Areva and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. as the final contenders, they said.

Atomea has proposed applying a leading-edge safety design to the nuclear plant to be constructed in Majdal, north of Amman, while its Russian contender is believed to have an advantage in terms of price competitiveness and operation record.

In selecting the final vendor, the commission is expected to take into account power utilities taking part in the nuclear project under the respective contender’s offer and how the bidders will help the country raise the necessary funds, they said.

The Majdal area has been facing chronic water supply shortages. The envisioned plant is expected to use various water sources, including those from a sewage treatment plant, to cool its reactor.

The nuclear project has drawn dissent from antinuclear activists in Jordan.