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More New Nations Joining Russia’s Nuclear Bandwagon

Sept. 23, 2014 (EIRNS)—Jordan and Algeria are joining nearly a dozen other prospective nuclear nations in taking up Russia’s offer to build their nuclear power plants. The meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna has provided an opportunity for representatives from many nations to strike deals with Rusatom Overseas, the international arm of Rosatom. Rusatom Overseas signed a Project Development Agreement with Jordan yesterday, toward construction of a nuclear plant in central Jordan. The plan sets out the obligations of both parties for the first stage of a 2,000-MW two-unit power plant, laying the basis for a construction contract, to be signed in a year or two.

An interview with Bruno Tertrais, research fellow at the Paris-based Foundation for Strategic Research, published yesterday in World Politics Review, discusses Algeria’s nuclear plans. Currently, Algeria has two research reactors, one built by Argentina and one with China. But plans for an electricity-producing commercial-sized plant have never been realized. Recently, a cooperation agreement was signed with Russia that builds upon a 2007 agreement. This one could be fruitful, Tertrais proposes, as Russia is seen as "less discriminative" in choosing nuclear clients. In the past, agreements were signed with France and the U.S., he said, but never went anywhere.

In addition to producing electricity, Algeria also wants the nuclear plants for desalination. Russia has recently been focusing on the application of its nuclear technology for desalination.