Saudi Arabia launches country’s first nuclear research reactor project

Saudi Arabia launches country’s first nuclear research reactor project

Agency News

Riyadh, Nov 6: Saudi prince Mohammed Bin Salman laid the foundation stone for the kingdom’s first nuclear research reactor.

According to Saudi press agency, the project was inaugurated by the crown prince on Monday during his visit to Riyadh’s King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology and believed to be one one of seven cutting edge ventures in the fields of renewable energy, atomic energy, water desalination, genetic medicine and aircraft design.

The Kingdom plans to build 16 nuclear reactors over the next 25 years and two full nuclear power reactors for energy, Arab News reported.

With the help of International experts, the scientists of KACST has designed the reactor. Construction of the reactor is already underway and expected to be completed by the end of 2019. The reactor is designed to use uranium oxide fuel with 2.1 percent enrichment.

In March this year, Prince Mohammed in an interview to CBS News said that " Saudi Arabia does not want to acquire any nuclear bomb,but without a doubt if Iran developed a nuclear bomb, we will follow suit as soon as possible".

It is also reported that reactor will follow all the safety standards of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Meanwhile, apart from Nuclear research project, The crown prince also reviewed center for the development of aircraft structures based at King Khalid International Airport. It is one of the largest building in the Middle east for developing aircrafts. Currently with an area of 27,000 square meters there are plans to expand it to 92,000 square meters.

During his tour of the KACST headquarters, Crown Prince Mohammed also reviewed two solar-powered water desalination plants. A plant in Al-Khafji will have a capacity of 60,000 cubic meters per day, while another in Yanbu will have a capacity of 5,200 cubic meters per day.

He was also briefed on satellite projects, including the SaudiSat 5A and SaudiSat 5B satellites. (UNI)