Kingdom makes significant progress in nuclear reactors: Envoy

South Korean Ambassador Kwon Pyung-oh
Updated 16 March 2017
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Kingdom makes significant progress in nuclear reactors: Envoy

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia has made significant progress in terms of acquiring technology to build nuclear reactors, and is working closely with South Korea on nuclear safety and security, South Korean Ambassador Kwon Pyung-oh said Wednesday.
The Kingdom has sent 41 nuclear experts to South Korea for training and learning to design, construct and develop nuclear plants based on System-integrated Modular Advanced Reactor (SMART) technology, he added.
“The basis of nuclear cooperation between our two countries is an MoU (memorandum of understanding) that was signed in March 2015 on the occasion of an official visit by Korea’s president to Saudi Arabia,” Pyung-oh said.
“The MoU seeks to strengthen partnership in SMART reactor technology and human capacity-building in the nuclear sector between Korea and Saudi Arabia.”
As a follow-up measure, the Korean Atomic Energy Research Institute and King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy signed a SMART pre-project engineering agreement in September 2015 that will remain in effect until November 2018, he said.
South Korea is widely recognized as a leader in designing and building SMART reactors. “I expect nuclear cooperation between Korea and Saudi Arabia to deepen further by building on recent developments,” said the diplomat.
The two countries signed another MoU to strengthen cooperation on nuclear safety, security and regulations, exchanging information, technical cooperation, education and training last November, he added.
“I am confident that such efforts will lead to the successful construction and launch of SMART nuclear reactors in Saudi Arabia,” Kwon said, adding that SMART is a small-scale nuclear power plant equivalent to approximately a 10th of a full-scale commercial atomic power station.
It is able to supply heat for seawater desalination, district heating and industrial purposes, and can be built at a low cost and within a short period of time.


Pilgrims praise Saudi efforts during Hajj

Updated 4 min 35 sec ago
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Pilgrims praise Saudi efforts during Hajj

  • Pilgrims praise the organization of the Hajj ritual areas
  • Millions pass through relatively small areas to perform the rituals

ARAFAT: Pilgrims from around the world have expressed their gratitude for the services provided to them by the Saudi authorities, and praised the quality.
“Despite the small size of the holy sites area and the massive gatherings of pilgrims coming yearly to this place, Saudi Arabia has succeeded in managing the huge crowds,” said Jihad Obaid, an Iraqi pilgrim performing Hajj for the first time. The only thing he does not like is the hot weather, but the water sprinklers installed along the way have been a great help, he added.
“These sprinklers reflect how caring the Saudi government is,” he said. “We all know that man can’t control weather challenges, but the preparations made to protect pilgrims is a sign of the great efforts to help pilgrims carry out their rituals comfortably.”
Mas’ood BuHadji, from Algeria, thanked the security guards for the work they do for pilgrims.
“I would like to extend my thanks and appreciations to the security men who spare no effort in assisting the pilgrims to easily complete their rituals,” he said. “Although I am not Saudi, I feel proud of these Muslim security men, whose job here is not only to secure pilgrims a safe Hajj, but also offer them bottles of cold water.
“Hajj is now easier than ever; the Jamarat Bridge, the services and everything.”