Jordan and X-Energy have advanced to the second stage of their relationship by signing a letter of intent (LOI) to build four 75MWe high temperature gas cooled reactors (HTGR) that burn Triso fuel.
The LOI aims to accelerate the process to build a nuclear power plant project in Jordan by 2030. It envisages a station comprising four 75MWe Xe-100 reactors, which are helium cooled and fuelled with Triso fuel.
Dr Khaled Touqan, Chairman of the Jordan Atomic Energy Commission (JAEC), and Dr Kam Ghaffarian, Executive Chairman of X-energy signed the LOI on 11 November. X-energy has been engaged in discussions with JAEC for two years, signing a Memorandum of Understanding in 2017, that provides for a technology feasibility and deployment readiness evaluation of the Xe-100 in Jordan.
In July 2018 Jordan decided to replace an earlier deal with Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom for two 1000MW VVER reactors with a plan for small modular reactors (SMRs), citing the expense of funding $10 billion for the two units. Rosatom had offered Jordan 50% financing with Jordan having the requirement to raise the other 50% through a combination of government funding and outside investors.
Jordan has been in talks with at least three different SMRs vendors. As well as X-Energy, the talks include UK Rolls Royce and China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC), US-based NuScale, South Korea’s KAERI, and Rosatom.