Jordan and France on 24 May signed a partnership agreement under which the Jordan Atomic Energy Commission (JAEC) will have access to French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA) facilities to develop collaborative research programmes to support Jordan’s research and development (R&D) and training targets. The agreement was signed under the International Atomic Energy Agency's (IAEA's) International Centre based on Research Reactors (ICERR) programme.
The ICERR programme will assist utilisation of the 5MWt Jordanian Test and Research Reactor (JRTR) and associated scientific equipment. The JRTR was built by the Korean Atomic Energy Research Institute with Daewoo at the Jordan University for Science and Technology. Construction of the reactor started in 2010, and it was completed in December 2016.
CEA's nuclear research centres in Saclay and Cadarache in 2015 became the first to be designated international research hubs under the ICERR. The designation will be valid until 2020. CEA has also signed agreements with Morocco, Tunisia, Slovenia, Indonesia and Algeria, giving access to the Saclay and Cadarache facilities.
IAEA says the ICERR programme aims to help member states gain timely access to relevant infrastructure based on research reactor facilities to achieve the nuclear R&D and capacity building objectives relevant to their identified national priorities. It also allows participating research reactors to coordinate and rationalise their offer of facilities, resources and services to interested member states.
The Russian Research Institute of Atomic Reactors State Scientific Centre (NIIAR) in Dimitrovgrad was named as the second ICERR in September 2016. NIIAR has six operating research reactors with another under construction and extensive support facilities.