Crown Prince launches project to build Saudi Arabia’s first nuclear research reactor

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Crown prince Mohammed bin Salman and Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih, during a tour of KACST. (SPA)
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Crown prince Mohammed bin Salman and Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih, during a tour of KACST. (SPA)
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Crown prince Mohammed bin Salman and Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih, during a tour of KACST. (SPA)
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Crown prince Mohammed bin Salman and Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih, during a tour of KACST. (SPA)
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Crown prince Mohammed bin Salman and Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih, during a tour of KACST. (SPA)
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Crown prince Mohammed bin Salman and Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih, during a tour of KACST. (SPA)
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Crown prince Mohammed bin Salman and Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih, during a tour of KACST. (SPA)
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Crown prince Mohammed bin Salman and Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih, during a tour of KACST. (SPA)
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Crown prince Mohammed bin Salman and Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih, during a tour of KACST. (SPA)
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Crown prince Mohammed bin Salman and Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih, during a tour of KACST. (SPA)
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Crown prince Mohammed bin Salman and Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih, during a tour of KACST. (SPA)
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Crown prince Mohammed bin Salman and Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih, during a tour of KACST. (SPA)
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Crown prince Mohammed bin Salman and Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih, during a tour of KACST. (SPA)
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Crown prince Mohammed bin Salman and Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih, during a tour of KACST. (SPA)
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Crown prince Mohammed bin Salman and Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih, during a tour of KACST. (SPA)
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Crown prince Mohammed bin Salman and Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih, during a tour of KACST. (SPA)
Updated 11 November 2018
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Crown Prince launches project to build Saudi Arabia’s first nuclear research reactor

  • Seven projects were announced during his visit to King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology
  • Cutting edge ventures are in the fields of renewable energy, atomic energy, water desalination, genetic medicine and aircraft design

JEDDAH: Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman launched a project to build Saudi Arabia’s first nuclear research reactor on Monday.

The project is one of seven cutting edge ventures in the fields of renewable energy, atomic energy, water desalination, genetic medicine and aircraft design that were inaugurated by the crown prince, Saudi Press Agency reported.

The projects were discussed during his visit to King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST).

The new reactor will help Saudi Arabia conduct research develop technology for the country’s burgeoning nuclear industry. 

The Kingdom plans to build two full nuclear power reactors for energy and as many as 16 over the next 25 years.

The design of the reactor has been developed by KACST scientists with the help of international experts. Construction of the reactor is already underway and expected to be completed by the end of next year.

It will follow all the safety standards of the International Atomic Energy Agency. The reactor is designed to use uranium oxide fuel with 2.1 percent enrichment.

One of the other projects reviewed by the Crown Prince is a center for the development of aircraft structures to be based at King Khalid International Airport.

The center is one of the largest buildings for developing aircrafts in the Middle East with an area of 27,000 square meters with plans to expand it to 92,000 square meters. The center has the capacity to manufacture most aircraft structures, whether civilian or military. 

Another project is a genome laboratory for tackling genetic disease in the Kingdom. The National Laboratory of the Saudi Human Genome contains the latest technologies in the study of genetic code, and 100,000 samples which are being examined to create a medical database. 

The laboratory is equipped to diagnose a large number of genetic diseases, which cost more than SR4 billion a year to treat.

During his tour of the KACST headquarters, Crown Prince Mohammed also reviewed two solar-powered water desalination plants. A plant in Al-Khafji will have a capacity of 60,000 cubic meters per day, while another in Yanbu will have a capacity of 5,200 cubic meters per day.

He was also briefed on satellite projects, including the SaudiSat 5A and SaudiSat 5B satellites.

Khalid Al-Falih, the energy minister and chairman of the KACST board, expressed his appreciation to the crown prince for his support and interest in the city.

KACST targets investment and development in research, through the coordination of national scientific, technological and innovative policies and strategies.


High-level investment forum aims to further boost business between Saudi Arabia and Japan

Updated 18 June 2019
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High-level investment forum aims to further boost business between Saudi Arabia and Japan

  • Japan is one of Saudi Arabia’s most important economic partners

TOKYO: More than 300 government, investment and industry leaders on Monday took part in a high-level gathering aimed at further boosting business opportunities between Saudi Arabia and Japan.

The Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA) welcomed key figures from the public and private sectors to the Saudi-Japan Vision 2030 Business Forum, held in Tokyo.

Hosted in partnership with the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), the conference focused on the creation of investment opportunities in strategic sectors of the Kingdom. Delegates also discussed key reforms currently underway to enable easier market access for foreign companies.

Speaking at the event, Saudi Economy and Planning Minister Mohammed Al-Tuwaijri, said: “Today’s forum is a testimony to the success of the strategic direction set by the Saudi-Japanese Vision 2030 two years ago, which seeks to drive private-sector involvement, both by partnering with public-sector entities.”

SAGIA Gov. Ibrahim Al-Omar said: “At SAGIA, we have been working on creating a more attractive and favorable business environment in Saudi Arabia, which is making it easier for foreign companies to access opportunities in the Kingdom.”

Japan is one of Saudi Arabia’s most important economic partners. It is the Kingdom’s second-largest source of foreign capital and third-biggest trading partner, with total trade exceeding $39 billion.

JETRO president, Yasushi Akahoshi, said: “Saudi-Japan Vision 2030 has made great progress since it was first announced. Under this strategic initiative, the number of cooperative projects between our two countries has nearly doubled, from 31 to 61, and represents a diverse range of sectors and stakeholders.”

Since 2016, the Saudi government has delivered 45 percent of more than 500 planned reforms, including the introduction of 100 percent foreign ownership rights, enhancing legal infrastructure and offering greater protection for shareholders.

As a result, the Kingdom has climbed international competitiveness and ease-of-doing-business rankings, with foreign direct investment inflows increasing by 127 percent in 2018 and the number of new companies entering Saudi Arabia rising by 70 percent on a year-on-year basis in the first quarter of 2019.