Saudi Arabia has almost completed its first nuclear reactor despite not having secured UN agreements to install nuclear fuel, raising fears of a new Middle Eastern arms race. Satellite pictures of the site at the King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology near Riyadh suggest that work is within a year of completion, according to Robert Kelley, a former director of inspections for the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna. The plant is being built by the Argentine state-owned company Invap and is further advanced than many analysts expected. Mr Kelley told news agencies that it appeared to be a small research and training reactor, with a ten-metre tube to hold nuclear fuel at its centre. Separately, the Saudi authorities were said yesterday to be preparing to issue tenders next year to build their first two nuclear power stations, as they seek to diversify energy supplies. However, some analysts – as well as Democratic congressmen in the US – fear that Saudi Arabia is planning a nuclear arms race with Iran.
Times 5th April 2019 read more »
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Saudi Arabia plans to issue a multi-billion-dollar tender in 2020 to construct its first two nuclear power reactors and is discussing the project with U.S. and other potential suppliers, three sources familiar with the plans said.
Reuters 4th April 2019 read more »