Saudi Arabia pushes for peaceful nuclear technology in Middle East

Khalid al 21 Khalid Al-Falih is the energy minister of Saudi Arabia. (Image source: Saudi Arabia Government)Saudi Arabia’s atomic energy programme is fundamental for developing a sustainable energy sector, energy minister Khalid Al-Falih told the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna

The kingdom plans to start building its first two nuclear power reactors this year and as many as 16 over the next 25 years at a cost of more than US$80bn. The plan is to provide 15 per cent of Saudi Arabia’s power from nuclear by 2032, Arab News reported.

Khalid Al-Falih added that the atomic reactor projects were a part of the kingdom’s Vision 2030 to diversify its energy sources to nuclear and renewable energy.

The programme “abides by all international treaties and conventions and best practices, adhering to the highest standards of safety, security and transparency,” Al Falih added.

He also said that Saudi Arabia was committed to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, which calls for nuclear disarmament and stresses the commitment of nuclear power states to share their peaceful technologies with abiding member states. “The kingdom had called for cooperation with the international community to make the Middle East a nuclear weapons-free area.”

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