By Taylor Luck

AMMAN – The EU and Jordan on Monday embarked on a two-year nuclear safety project, according to officials.

EU and Jordan Nuclear Regulatory Commission (JNRC) officials met in Amman yesterday to identify areas of cooperation to develop the Kingdom’s nuclear regulatory framework, according to the JNRC.

During the next four days, they will discuss training opportunities for workers in the field of nuclear safety and security in Jordan through courses and workshops in the Kingdom and at European institutions.

The two-year one-million-euro project focuses on identifying and implementing international safety standards throughout the stages of the Kingdom’s peaceful nuclear programme.

During yesterday’s meeting, the European Commission Regulatory Assistance Managers Group assigned the Czech Republic as the coordinating country for Jordan in EU-supported nuclear safety projects.

Under the project, European firm Risk Audit and a grouping representing the France-based Institute for Radiological and Nuclear Safety (IRNS) and the German Nuclear Security Company will act as a liaison between the government and the EU.

Through the project, experts from Europe in the field of nuclear engineering and safety will come to the Kingdom to provide expertise, training and guidance in several areas.

Officials representing the IRNS, the German Nuclear Security Company, the Italian technical review organisation, the Finnish Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority, the Czech State Office for Nuclear Safety and the European Commission Joint Research Centre are taking part in the project.

The project comes ahead of major upcoming developments in the Kingdom’s peaceful nuclear programme, such as the sub-critical assembly of the nuclear research reactor in Irbid and uranium mining in the central region, both estimated to begin within two years.

The Kingdom is on pace to construct two 1,000-megawatt Generation III reactors in the next 15 years in order to increase the country’s energy independence.

Authorities expect the construction of the country’s first nuclear reactor, slated for a site near Aqaba, within the next decade.