Jordan has been operating a “pioneering” processing plant to recover yellowcake from uranium ores since the start of the year, the head of the country’s Atomic Energy Commission has announced. Khaled Toukan’s remarks were reported by state news agency Petra and shared by the Jordanian Uranium Mining Company (JUMCO), operator of the plant. JUMCO, which is the commercial arm of Jordanian Atomic Energy Commission, was established in 2013 to carry out radioactive elements exploration and development in Jordan.
JUMCO General Manager Mohammad Shunnaq said the company had, over the past year, “undertaken the design and installation of a factory for the production of yellow cake”. Operation of the pilot plant has processed 70 tonnes of “ore”, he said.
In addition to the uranium exploration, Jordan’s nuclear program includes the Jordan Research and Training Reactor which became operational in 2016, and the Nuclear Power Plant Project to produce electricity and desalinate seawater, which is currently ongoing.
According to World Nuclear Association, Jordan imports most of its energy and seeks greater energy security as well as lower electricity prices. The country has significant uranium resources, some in phosphorite deposits, and is considering the use of small modular reactors. Jordan has signed nuclear cooperation agreements with France, Canada, the UK and Russia in respect to both power and desalination, and is developing its plans in line with International Atomic Energy Agency recommendations. It has also signed a nuclear cooperation agreement with China, covering uranium mining in Jordan and nuclear power, and others with South Korea, Japan, Spain, Italy, Romania, Turkey and Argentina related to infrastructure including nuclear power and desalination.
Source: World Nuclear News