King opens Jordan Nuclear Research Center | Business | Ammon News

King opens Jordan Nuclear Research Center

[11/23/2010 12:00:00 AM]

IRBID -- His Majesty King Abdullah II on Tuesday stressed the importance of improving the higher education quality and promoting programmes to keep pace with scientific advancements and empower Jordanains to press ahead with the development process.

During a visit to the Jordan University of Science and Technology JUST in the northern Irbid Governorate, King Abdullah told academics that upgrading the quality of higher education needs comprehensive strategic planning for "our universities to maintain the pioneering record they have achieved over decades of investment in education".

The King called for creating institutional frameworks to increase investments in research, encourage and support innovative individuals, lauding the university for the advanced level is had achieved in various sciences.

He was also briefed by nuclear engineering students on an Internet Reactor Laboratory that links the university's Nuclear Engineering Department with a U.S research reactor at a university in North Carolina.

The laboratory aims to enable JUST nuclear engineering students to use North Carolina State University PULSTAR Research Reactor and observe the reactor's behavior under certain conditions via a virtual control panel.

King Abdullah also attended a groundbreaking ceremony for the Jordan Center for Nuclear Research which will host the first nuclear research reactor in the Kingdom.

The King unveiled a model for the 5-megawatt Jordan Research and Training Reactor (JRTR) which will be built by a South Korean consortium led by the state-run Korean Atomic Energy Research Institute (KAERI) and Daewoo Engineering & Construction Co.

The project, launched at a total cost of $130 million of which the amount of $70 million will come through a soft loan from the South Korean government, is expected to be operational by 2015 after a year of extensive safety tests.

Jordan Atomic Energy Commission JAEC Chairman Khaled Toukan said the project is an important keystone for more technological and scientific advancement in Jordan tha will put the Kingdom on the nuclear map among regional countries.

The research reactor comes within the Kingdom's efforts to develop a nuclear program for peaceful purposes to desalinate water, generate electricity and turn the Kingdom into an energy exporter by 2030.

* Petra

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