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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - Saudi Gazette report
RIYADH — The support of the International Atomic Energy Agency for Saudi Arabia to produce nuclear energy will prove to be a big boost for the Kingdom’s drive to become a major energy supplier in the region, experts believe.
Once nuclear energy projects are completed, the Kingdom will have sufficient energy for its domestic use in addition to supplying electric energy generated from nuclear energy to the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states and other neighboring countries.
Speaking to Al-Ekhbariya channel on Monday, IAEA’s Director-General Rafael Grossi said that Saudi Arabia was preparing to adopt nuclear energy and the agency was providing support. “Saudi Arabia is interested in nuclear energy and we are working on providing it with the necessary support,” he said.
Saudi Arabia unveiled earlier its plans to tap nuclear technology for peaceful purposes and use nuclear power to diversify its energy mix. Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz Bin Salman said last year that the Kingdom wants to enrich and produce uranium for its nuclear power program, which will begin by building two planned nuclear reactors.
In 2017, the Cabinet approved the construction of a smart nuclear reactor as one of the components of the National Atomic Energy Project. This is part of the Kingdom’s efforts to include peaceful nuclear energy within the national energy component and to contribute to providing sustainable national development requirements in accordance with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030.
The peaceful use of nuclear energy would bring about several economic benefits to the Kingdom, especially when it is moving toward realizing the power grid project with other GCC countries as well as with the neighbors, Egypt, Iraq, and Jordan. It will also help the Kingdom reduce its dependence on crude oil.
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