Saudi Arabia flags plan to enrich uranium

Abu Dhabi: Saudi Arabia energy minister said on Monday that his country wants to enrich uranium for its nuclear power program.

Though the Kingdom says it wants to use nuclear power to diversify its energy mix, but enrichment also opens up the possibility of military uses of uranium. It must be recalled that Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman had said in 2018 that the Sunni Muslim Kingdom would develop nuclear arms if regional rival Shi’ite Muslim Iran did.

Gulf News has quoted Prince Abdul-Aziz bin Salman as saying, “We are proceeding with it cautiously … we are experimenting with two nuclear reactors.” He was referring to a plan to issue a tender for the Gulf Arab state’s first two nuclear power reactors.

In an energy conference in Abu Dhabi, he told that ultimately the kingdom wanted to go ahead with the full cycle of the nuclear program, including the production and enrichment of uranium for atomic fuel.

U.S., Russian, South Korean, Chinese and French firms are already involved in preliminary talks about the multi-billion-dollar project, the tender of which is expected in 2020.

Middle EastNews
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