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France and Saudi Arabia to study nuclear power

Feasibility study could eventually see Areva build two reactors in KSA.

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France, KSA, Nuclear, SAUDI, News

France has become the latest country to sign a pact with Saudi Arabia to explore the possibility of building nuclear power plants in the kingdom.

The two countries will carry our feasibility studies for a pair reactors using technology developed by French nuclear specialist Areva.

Agreements covering nuclear waste disposal contract and nuclear safety were also announced at the first Franco-Saudi Joint Commission in Paris on Wednesday.

Few other details were revealed during the event where a mix of contracts worth around $12bn were confirmed, including a huge order by Saudi Arabian Airlines for Airbus passenger jets first announced at the Paris Airshow last week.

"We are about to sign deals worth $12 billion," French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius told a news conference ahead of a ceremony between President Francois Hollande and Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Saudi Arabia has previously announced plans to install 17GW of nuclear power by 2032 and has signed a string of similar collaborations in recent years with countries including China, Korea, Argentina, the US and, just last week, with Russia.

Saudi aims to devlop large capacities of nuclear and renewable energy in an effort to wean its economy off the huge volumes it consumes for power generation.

Despite the recent agreements, no firm contracts are in place and nuclear power in Saudi Arabia is still many years away.

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