Saudi announces first plant as part of ambitious nuclear programme

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has announced that its first nuclear reactor will be under construction by the end of this year.

The Saudi government is backing nuclear power as the key to meeting growing demand and reducing reliance on depleting hydrocarbons for energy within the kingdom.
Saudi Arabia
The Al Hayat newspaper reports that senior sources in the administration say that this is to be the first of four such nuclear reactors planned for the Saudi grid.

“Construction of the first Saudi nuclear reactor will take ten years, according to the plan, although we hope that we can complete the task in less time,” the newspaper said, quoting Saudi sources.

The World Nuclear Association recently predicted that Saudi would in fact be building 16 nuclear power reactors, “over the next 20 years at a cost of more than $80bn, with the first reactor on line in 2022.”

The Saudis hope to reach “17 GW of nuclear capacity by 2032,” which would supply 15 per cent of their projected needs by then.

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