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Saudi Arabia to go nuclear by 2020

Construction of Kingdom's first nuclear plant within nine years

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Saudi Arabia hopes to have its first nuclear plant running by 2020. (Getty Images)
Saudi Arabia hopes to have its first nuclear plant running by 2020. (Getty Images)

Saudi Arabia will complete the construction of its first nuclear power plant in the next nine years, a consultant at the King Abdullah Centre for Atomic and Renewable Energy has revealed.

Speaking at a nuclear conference in Dubai, Ibrahim Babelli said: “There are a lot of things that need to be done, but our target is 2020.”

The site selection process for the first nuclear plant is already underway, and authorties hope that a groundbreaking ceremony would take place in 2014.

The Kingdom, along with all other Middle Eastern countries, is looking to develop a nuclear power programme in response to increasing population and industry, and in an attempt to decrease the use of valuable gas and oil resources, which could otherwise be exported.

The first officially sanctioned nuclear reactor in the Middle East looks set to be the UAE’s, which was planned for inauguration in 2017. However, a year-long review following Japan’s Fukushima disaster may well delay its development.
 

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