Officials said the program would take at least a decade and
ensure that Jordan becomes a producer of nuclear fuel.
On Sept. 21, Toukan and other senior officials discussed Jordan's
nuclear energy program at a seminar by the official news agency Petra. The
minister said Amman was examining bids from three foreign companies for the
construction of the nation's first nuclear reactor. The companies were
identified as a consortium comprised of France's Areva and Japan's
as well as Russia's Atomstroyexport and Atomic Energy of Canada.
Toukan said Jordan would exploit its uranium ore reserves, estimated at
65,000 tons. Most of the ore was believed located in central Jordan, and the
minister said the ore would mark the basis of a nuclear energy program,
including water desalination.
The first nuclear energy reactor was expected to be built in Kherbat Al
Samra, 40 kilometers northeast of Amman. The nuclear site was meant to
encompass two square kilometers and draw water from a nearby sewage
Officials acknowledged that Kherbat meant that the original proposed
of Aqaba was abandoned. They cited much higher infrastructure costs as well
as unsuitable topography in Aqaba.