UP­DATES

The king­dom is con­sid­er­ing build­ing 17.6 gi­gawatts (GW) of nu­clear ca­pac­ity by 2032, the equiv­a­lent of about 17 nu­clear re­ac­tors

Utilities Middle East - - CONTENTS -

The Crown Prince of Saudi Ara­bia, Mo­hammed bin Sal­man, launched a project last month to build the king­dom’s first nu­clear re­search re­ac­tor. The nu­clear project is among the seven strate­gic projects also cov­er­ing such fields as the air­craft in­dus­try, re­new­able en­ergy, atomic en­ergy, ge­netic medicine, wa­ter de­sali­na­tion and the air­craft in­dus­try launched dur­ing a visit to King Ab­du­laziz City for Sci­ence and Tech­nol­ogy (KAST).

The two most sig­nif­i­cant projects in­clude a nu­clear re­search re­ac­tor and a cen­tre for the de­vel­op­ment of air­craft struc­tures.

The new re­ac­tor will help Saudi Ara­bia con­duct re­search de­velop tech­nol­ogy for the coun­try’s bur­geon­ing nu­clear in­dus­try.

The de­sign of the re­ac­tor has been de­vel­oped by KACST sci­en­tists with the help of in­ter­na­tional ex­perts. Con­struc­tion of the re­ac­tor is al­ready un­der­way and ex­pected to be com­pleted by the end of next year.

It will fol­low all the safety stan­dards of the In­ter­na­tional Atomic En­ergy Agency. The re­ac­tor is de­signed to use ura­nium ox­ide fuel with 2.1% en­rich­ment.

Saudi Ara­bia, one of the world’s largest oil­ex­port­ing coun­tries, has been step­ping up plans to de­velop a civil­ian nu­clear en­ergy ca­pa­bil­ity.

Last year, the In­ter­na­tional Atomic En­ergy Agency said the Saudi gov­ern­ment had in­vited pro­pos­als for the con­struc­tion of two nu­clear power re­ac­tors to boost the coun­try’s en­ergy mix.

The king­dom is con­sid­er­ing build­ing 17.6 gi­gawatts (GW) of nu­clear ca­pac­ity by 2032, the equiv­a­lent of about 17 re­ac­tors, mak­ing it one of the biggest projects glob­ally.

Saudi Ara­bia is aim­ing to re­duce the amount of crude it burns at home to gen­er­ate elec­tric­ity to al­low it to sell more of it over­seas.

If the king­dom pro­ceeds with the plan, it would be­come the sec­ond Gulf Arab state to launch a nu­clear power project af­ter the United Arab Emi­rates, which is build­ing four South Korea-de­signed re­ac­tors.

NU­CLEARThe GCC is tak­ing to nu­clear to boost power sup­ply

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