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Nuclear Energy 'Will Speed Up Saudi Arabia's Development' – Energy Expert

CC BY-SA 4.0 / B.alotaby / Riyadh SkylineRiyadh Skyline showing the King Abdullah Financial District (KAFD) and the famous Kingdom Tower
Riyadh Skyline showing the King Abdullah Financial District (KAFD) and the famous Kingdom Tower - Sputnik International
Saudi Arabia wants to work more closely with Russia in the fields of nuclear energy and oil, describing it as beneficial for the whole world.

In an interview with Sputnik, Saudi energy expert Said al-Shahrani said that ‘the decision to build a nuclear power plant in the kingdom is the result of serious research that confirmed the need for this step’.

He added that in the long term, the construction and use of nuclear power stations for energy generation and desalination will prove cheaper than oil, gas, or coal.

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On 5 November 2018, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman announced the launch of a project to develop a low-power research nuclear reactor.

‘This is the first such project in the kingdom’, Said al-Shahrani noted, adding that Riyadh wants to diversify the sources of the country’s income and reduce its dependence on oil thus speeding up the country’s economic development.

‘The peaceful atom will spur development of several economic sectors such as energy, desalination, agriculture as well as oil and gas production’, the expert continued.

The construction of nuclear power plants in Saudi Arabia will be done in accordance with the most stringent safety standards to rule out any negative impact on local residents.

Said al-Shahrani noted that Saudi Arabia is ready to emulate the experience of the world leaders in the field of nuclear energy.

Russian-Saudi cooperation is being developed on the basis of the agreements reached on 5 October 2017.

‘There are great prospects for cooperation: from training to building the necessary infrastructure in the kingdom’, Said al-Shahrani said.

During a meeting with President Vladimir Putin in Moscow in June, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said that Saudi Arabia wants to continue cooperation with Russia in the oil sector, describing it as beneficial for the whole world.

READ MORE: Saudi FM: Saudi Arabia to Turn to Russian Expertise in Nuclear Energy

He added that the two countries fruitful work in the economic, industrial and oil sectors had helped stabilise the situation in the world economy by regulating trends on the global oil market.

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