French fuel for Korean reactor in Jordan

19 April 2013

Fuel for Jordan's research reactor will be made by Areva, the company announced. A South Korean consortium is supplying the 5 MWt unit to Jordan University of Science and Technology.

Research reactors provide training opportunities for nuclear scientists and engineers as well as producing radioisotopes for industry, agriculture and medicine. Construction of the $175 million Jordan Research and Training Reactor (JRTR) is seen as a major step on the country's path to deploying nuclear power for electricity generation.

The Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute (Kaeri) designed the reactor and will build it in a consortium with Doosan. The firms contracted Areva to supply low-enriched uranium and prototype fuel assemblies in 2011 and this week confirmed the quality of those products by contracting Areva for the unit's first core and first reload batch. Delivery is scheduled for the start of 2015, said Areva.

Separately Areva has celebrated a large long-term contract for power reactor fuel in the USA. after 2016 Exelon will use fuel fabricated by Areva for a total of 12 reloads across the four reactors of the Dresden and Quad Cities plants. Six reloads for Exelon's Three Mile Island 1 will also be fabricated by Areva.

At 5 MWt, the JRTR is a scaled-down version of South Korea's 30 MWt High-flux Advanced Neutron Application Reactor (Hanaro), which itself is based on the Maple units that were constructed but never operated in Canada. The unit is capable of being upgraded to 10 MWt in future. The Jordan Atomic Energy Commission in 2010 said JRTR is intended to become "the focal point for a national nuclear science and technology centre" including a fuel fabrication plant, waste management facilities and a cold neutron facility.

Power plant

Energy-poor Jordan is keen to set up a nuclear power program to help lessen its reliance on energy imports, which are currently required for some 95% of its needs. Worley Parsons has been working to support JAEC in selecting a reactor design for a nuclear power plant and a final decision is expected by mid-May. Options on the table are the AES-92 model VVER-1000 pressurized water reactor from AtomStroyExport of Russia and the Atmea1 pressurized water reactor from Areva and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News