Saudi Grand Atomic Energy Ambitions

The tsunami that smashed into Japan’s Fukushima nuclear plant in March 2011 renewed concerns about the dangers of nuclear power and sparked crisis for its supporters. Reuters reports that Saudi Arabia’s push for atomic energy is now giving new hope for the industry:

Saudi Arabia is likely to opt to build a variety of different plants to meet its rapidly rising power demand, according to the Vice President of King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy (KACARE), which is responsible for steering the kingdom’s nuclear plans.

More than one design would avoid over-stretching one reactor builder and allow the kingdom to sign politically potent, long-term contracts with several of its biggest trading partners.

“We see unique benefits of diversifying acquired technologies in terms of job creation, value chain localization, and knowledge transfer,” Waleed Abulfaraj said.

“The current front runners are all countries which Saudi Arabia has already signed a nuclear cooperation agreement with, which include France, Korea, China, and Argentina.”