Jordan, Japan sign nuclear cooperation deal

September 10, 2010 17:20

AMMAN, Jordan — Jordan and Japan have signed a nuclear cooperation deal, potentially boosting the hand of a French-Japanese consortium bidding to build Jordan's first nuclear plant.

Atomic Energy Commission chief Khaled Toukan said Friday the agreement sets the stage for exploring and exploiting Jordan's uranium reserves.Toukan said Japan will also assist in the construction and operation of a local reactor and in studies on radioisotopes and radiation.

Jordan wants to build a nuclear plant by 2019 to meet its growing energy needs and reduce its energy bill, which consumes about 20 percent of its annual budget.

Amman has shortlisted a French-Japanese consortium, a Canadian and a Russian company to build the plant.

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