SAUDI ARABIA MAY HAVE URANIUM NEEDED FOR NUCLEAR FUEL PRODUCTION


18/09/2020




Selin ATAY-TDO-A report by Chinese geologists indicated that Saudi Arabia may have enough uranium reserves to be used in the production of nuclear fuel.

Chinese geoscientists have been involved in the detection of Saudi Arabia's uranium reserves in accordance with a nuclear energy cooperation agreement signed by Beijing with Riyadh.

Concerns about Saudi Arabia's close interest in its nuclear weapons program are likely to grow further as a result of the information related to uranium reserves found in the report.

A report prepared by Chinese geologists found that, in accordance with initial reviews, Saudi Arabia has the potential to produce 90 thousand tons of uranium from reserves detected in the central and north-western parts.

The Riyadh administration has made it clear that Saudi Kingdom cares about uranium production within the country. In 2017, a senior Saudi official said domestic uranium production would be a step towards "self-sufficiency" for the nuclear energy program.

According to experts, Saudi Arabia's ability to produce enough uranium in independent manner could make contribution to  its own nuclear weapons program.

In 2018, Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman, said Riyadh would "do the same as soon as possible" if Iran had a nuclear weapon. The Saudi prince's statements had raised concerns in the United States and its allies about Riyadh's nuclear armament.

The lack of a transparency in Saudi Arabia is the biggest cause for concern, experts say. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) statement also stated that Riyadh has not responded positively to calls to fully monitoring nuclear activities in the country.


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