coverimage
Dubai News

Saudi Arabia flags plan to enrich uranium as U.S. seeks nuclear pact

date

10-Sep-2019

Abu Dhabi - Saudi Arabia wants to enrich uranium for its nuclear power program, its energy minister said on Monday, potentially complicating talks with Washington on an atomic pact and the role of U.S. companies. Uranium enrichment has been a sticking point with the United States, especially after Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman said in 2018 that the Sunni Muslim kingdom would develop nuclear arms if regional rival Shi’ite Muslim Iran did. The world’s top oil exporter says it wants to use nuclear power to diversify its energy mix, but enrichment also opens up the possibility of military uses of uranium.
 
“We are proceeding with it cautiously ... we are experimenting with two nuclear reactors,” Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said, referring to a plan to issue a tender for the Gulf Arab state’s first two nuclear power reactors. 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, he told an energy conference in Abu Dhabi. The tender is expected in 2020, with U.S., Russian, South Korean, Chinese and French firms involved in preliminary talks about the multi-billion-dollar project.
 
Although atomic reactors need uranium enriched to around 5% purity, the same technology can also be used to enrich the heavy metal to higher, weapons-grade levels. Saudi Arabia has backed President Donald Trump’s “maximum pressure” campaign against Iran after he withdrew the United States from a 2015 nuclear pact that curbed Iran’s disputed nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief.
 
In order for U.S. companies to compete for Saudi Arabia’s project, Riyadh would normally need to sign an accord on the peaceful use of nuclear technology with Washington. The United States would like to sign this pact, known as a 123 agreement, a senior U.S. official said at the conference.
 
“It’s important for us, with regards to U.S. technology, we’re going to pursue a 123 agreement,” Dan Brouillette, Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Energy, said. “We would like to see a 123 agreement accompany any agreement to transfer U.S. technology or use U.S. technology in Saudi or any other place,” he added.
 

More Related News

The Grammy and Oscar-winning musician will perform at the Coca-Cola Arena

..

15-Sep-2019

Experts and major companies across the film, game, and music industries to be featured

..

15-Sep-2019

Wasit Comprehensive Police Station, Ajman’s Traffic and Licensing Services Centre shine

..

15-Sep-2019

Moderate winds and humid conditions ro remain throughout the day

..

15-Sep-2019

Johnson also compared Britain to the comic character Incredible Hulk in an interview

..

15-Sep-2019

Apple TV+ subscription service with original content to go live on November 1

..

14-Sep-2019

Huffman, 56, must surrender to authorities on October 25

..

14-Sep-2019

The skeletal remains were of William Moldt, who went missing in 1997 at the age of 40

..

14-Sep-2019

Abu Dhabi Crown Prince discusses strengthening bilateral ties with President Lukashenko

..

14-Sep-2019

The evaluation process covered more than 600 service centres across the country

..

14-Sep-2019


Related Links_


Popular Tours_

Book quality Dubai tours, explore UAE, experience the spirit of a desert safari, best rates for popular adventure tours, dhow cuises, water sports & more

...

Dubai Visa

...

Metro Guide

...

Speed Boating

...

Govt. Services

Google ADS
Warnning

Unsupported Browser

This website includes CSS elements that your browser does not support. Please upgrade your browser to a current version, then come back and try again.

Upgrade your Browser for more experience

Chrome Firefox Safari Edge