Saudi Arabia has signed a nuclear power research and development agreement with South Korea.

The deal covers co-operation on building new plants and research reactors, training, safety and waste management, said a Saudi government statement yesterday.

It follows similar nuclear agreements already signed with France and Argentina as the kingdom prepares to utilise energy sources other than oil. Despite having the world’s biggest oil reserves, Saudi Arabia’s energy demands are climbing each year and it is looking to ramp-up renewables and nuclear power generation.

In June a government spokesman said as many as 16 new nuclear reactors could be built.