Nuclear energy in Saudi Arabia

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Saudi Arabia has plans to create a domestic nuclear industry in anticipation of high growth in domestic energy consumption. One set of plans proposes build two nuclear reactors by 2020, and have sixteen built by 2030.[1] The governments intent is to supplement domestic production, to free up further oil for export. Currently, Saudi Arabia produces 52 GW from 79 power plants. The government intends to produce 110 GW by 2032. This would require 16 reactors by 2019 at a cost of $7B each. Saudi Arabia hopes to produce surplus capacity for export.[2]

The Saudi program is reckoned to be the second most developed in the Arab world, behind their gulf neighbour United Arab Emirates. In 2010, the King Abdallah Center for Atomic and Renewable Energy (KAcare) was founded to oversee the gulf state's nuclear program under its president, Hashim Abdullah Yamani (former minister of energy and of commerce)[3] KAcare will represent Saudi Arabia at the IAEA and be responsible for Saudi nuclear energy power, supervision of nuclear power production and management of nuclear waste.[4]

Saudi Arabia has no fuel production facilities and would be reliant on nuclear fuel from the global market. In 2010, a deal was signed with Toshiba and Shaw to build reactors in Saudi Arabia, and with Exelon to manage the nuclear facilities. The group will either be using the Advanced Boiling Water Reactor or Westinghouse's. AP1000 [2]

In February 2011, Saudi Arabia signed its first nuclear accord with France, a leader in nuclear technology exports.[5] It is expected that Saudi Arabia will build a number of nuclear reactors in the near future with the aid of France to expand King Abdullah's Atomic and Renewable Energy City devoted to research and the peaceful application of nuclear energy.[6][7]


  1. ^ "Gulf Region still on course for six nuclear reactors by 2020 despite Fukushima | Crescent Petroleum". 2011-03-11. Retrieved 2012-11-25. 
  2. ^ a b Dan Yurman (2011-08-23). "Saudi Arabia’s Nuclear Energy Ambitions". The Energy Collective. Retrieved 2012-11-29. 
  3. ^ "Saudis, Emirates push nuclear power plans". 2012-07-26. Retrieved 2012-11-29. 
  4. ^ Saudi Gazette. "King orders to build nuke, renewable energy facility". Saudi Gazette. Retrieved 2012-11-29. 
  5. ^ World Nuclear Association. Nuclear Power in France (updated September 2013). Retrieved 18 November 2013.
  6. ^
  7. ^ Summer Said (Feb 2013). Saudi Arabia, France Sign Nuclear-Energy Deal The Wall Street Journal Business. Retrieved 18 November 2013.