04:50 GMT +313 November 2019
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    Rosatom Chief Says Russia Ready to Build Nuclear Power Plant in Saudi Arabia Together With US

    © Sputnik / Evgeny Biyatov
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    Riyadh seeks to create its own nuclear power plant with two reactors, which will produce from 2 to 3.2 gigawatts of electricity to satisfy the country's demand for electric power.

    Russia’s Rosatom has stated that Saudi Arabia could make a decision on who will construct its first nuclear power plant (NPP) in 2020-2021.

    According to Rosatom's chief Alexey Likhachev, Russia is ready to build the NPP jointly with the United States.

    "We are ready for cooperation in the broadest sense - with American, European, Asian companies - one way or another, this cooperation is taking place at our other facilities", he said.

    The statement comes after Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman stated that Riyadh is considering enriching uranium for nuclear power.

    Prior to that, in April The Guardian reported that Saudi Arabia's first nuclear reactor was almost ready, but Riyadh had yet to comply with safeguards required by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

    Saudi Arabia, which is seeking to expand its energy portfolio, has been in talks with the US for months over a bilateral nuclear cooperation agreement that would allow Riyadh to pursue its civilian nuclear projects.

    However, after the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, numerous US lawmakers called on President Donald Trump to halt discussions with Saudi Arabia on a bilateral civil nuclear agreement.

    Riyadh was initially expected to announce the results of the tender for the construction of nuclear power plants before 2019.

    Tags:
    construction, nuclear power plant, United States, Russia, Saudi Arabia
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