Friday, June 3, 2011

Saud Arabia plans to build 16 nuclear reactors by 2030

The Government of Saudi Arabia plans to build 16 nuclear power reactors by 2030 could cost some 70,000 million euros, according to a Saudi newspaper reported, quoting an official of a state research center. Saudi Arabia, the biggest oil exporter in the world, is trying to manage the growing energy demands of its population, so it is considering improving its energy capacity using nuclear reactors.

"In ten years we have the first two reactors," he assured Melaibari bin Abdul Ghani, scientific coordinator of the City of King Abdullah for Atomic and Renewable Energy, told Arab News. "After that, each year we will open two, to be 16 in 2030," he added. Many countries have since reversed its plans to build nuclear plants after an earthquake and subsequent tsunami hit last March 11 at the Fukushima nuclear plant-1, in northeastern Japan, causing the worst nuclear crisis 25 years after Chernobyl.

Bin Melaibari estimated the cost of each of the reactors would be about 4,800 million euros and said the government is currently planning the project and coordinating with specialized companies. According to this scientist, the Saudi Executive aims to meet 20% of its electricity with nuclear energy.

It is expected that the demand for electricity in Saudi Arabia will grow between 7% and 8% over the next ten years.

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