Saudi Arabia plans to extract uranium under its nuclear energy program
Saudi Arabia plans to extract uranium locally under its nuclear energy program, a senior official said on Monday, a step forward towards self-sufficiency in nuclear fuel production.

Hashem bin Abdullah Yamani, head of King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy, the government body responsible for nuclear plans, said Saudi Arabia's extraction of uranium locally was also logical from an economic point of view.

Addressing an international conference on nuclear energy in Abu Dhabi, Yamani did not say whether Saudi Arabia would also seek to enrich and process uranium, two steps of the fuel cycle that are highly sensitive because they open the possibility of using the material for military purposes.

Riyadh, the world's largest oil exporter, says it wants to address the nuclear energy field for peaceful purposes only to diversify energy sources and that it will award a contract to build the country's first two nuclear reactors by the end of 2018.

Yamani told a conference organized by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that with regard to uranium production in the kingdom, the program represents the country's first step towards self-sufficiency in the production of nuclear fuel, adding that Riyadh is exploiting uranium ore, which proved economically efficient.

Nuclear reactors need enriched uranium to a purity of 5 percent, but the same technology used in the process can be used to enrich the metal to higher levels to allow it to be used to manufacture weapons.

The issue was the focus of Western and regional concerns about Iran's nuclear activities and led to a 2015 agreement, under which Tehran agreed to freeze its 15-year program in return for lifting sanctions.

IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano said Monday that Iran is committed to the nuclear agreement signed with the world powers, which was questioned by US President Donald Trump.

Post a Comment

Powered by Blogger.