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« Nuclear Energy Institute applauds spending bill | Main | Rick Perry planning nuclear energy talks with Saudi Arabia: report »
Tuesday
Mar202018

Why Oil-Rich Saudi Arabia Is Turning to Nuclear Power

With the world’s second-biggest proven reserves of oil, Saudi Arabia seems an unlikely aspirant to the nuclear-energy club. Yet the largest oil exporter plans to build at least 16 nuclear reactors over the next 25 years at a cost of more than $80 billion. The Saudis see atomic energy as a way to ease their dependence on finite fossil fuels. But they are also driven by competition with their rival Iran, which has multiple nuclear facilities. Whatever the motivation, the turn to nuclear power by Saudi Arabia, and several other countries in Middle East, raises the risk of a nuclear arms race in the most unstable part of the world.

1. What’s the security risk?

Most nuclear reactors are fueled with enriched uranium, which means countries that want nuclear power must either import the stuff or have their own enrichment capability. Saudi Arabia is insisting on the latter, which could be worrisome, given that highly enriched uranium can be used to build nuclear weapons. Another type of reactor is powered by raw uranium, which Saudi Arabia possesses, but that type produces plutonium, another fuel for nuclear arms.

2. Why does Saudi Arabia want nuclear power now?

 

more.....

Public Enemy No. 1 Is Not Russia; It's Apathy

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