KSA, South Korea invest SR487m in nuclear projects to diversify energy

KSA, South Korea invest SR487m in nuclear projects to diversify energy
Byung Wook Jo said that a Korean mega cultural exhibition will be organized in Riyadh to acquaint Saudis with Korean culture, history and heritage. (Supplied)
Updated 31 October 2018

KSA, South Korea invest SR487m in nuclear projects to diversify energy

KSA, South Korea invest SR487m in nuclear projects to diversify energy
  • Jo said that a Korean mega cultural exhibition will be organized in Riyadh to acquaint Saudis with Korean culture, history and heritage

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia and South Korea have jointly invested more than SR487 million ($129.8 million) in developing and designing compact-sized nuclear plants.
The aim of investing in the SMART (System-Integrated Modular Advanced Reactor Technology) nuclear plants is to diversify energy sources.
The pre-project engineering to build two units of SMART will be completed in November this year, the South Korean Ambassador Byung Wook Jo said.
Jo said that the Kingdom and Korea are poised for a rapid advance in bilateral relations with strong economic, cultural, commercial and strategic links.
“Saudi Arabia and Korea have maintained cordial relations and a remarkable friendship for more than half a century. Korea has played a key role in the development of infrastructure of the Kingdom, while Riyadh has been the main energy provider to us,” he said.
He said pre-project engineering for the nuclear plants is a joint process between Korean and Saudi engineers at the KAERI (Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute) in South Korea. “As a part of an existing memorandum of understanding, KAERI invited Saudi engineers and experts to join its team in the Korean city of Daejon, where 48 Saudi engineers are working with Korean experts,” Jo said.
Trade between the two countries totaled $21.3 billion in 2016 and $24.7 billion in 2017. “This trade volume has been increasing steadily over the past years and reached a total of $14.8 billion for the first half of 2018, which is 19.3 percent increase compared with that of the same period in 2017,” he said.
Jo said that a Korean mega cultural exhibition will be organized in Riyadh to acquaint Saudis with Korean culture, history and heritage. The exhibition will be officially inaugurated on Dec. 27 and will run until March 15 next year.


Saudi Arabia’s first COVID-19 vaccine set for clinical trials

Saudi Arabia’s first COVID-19 vaccine set for clinical trials
Updated 7 min 13 sec ago

Saudi Arabia’s first COVID-19 vaccine set for clinical trials

Saudi Arabia’s first COVID-19 vaccine set for clinical trials
  • It will go through rigorous testing and several trial stages before it is approved for use by the Saudi Food and Drug Authority

RIYADH: Preclinical studies on the first Saudi vaccine against COVID-19 have been completed.

Professor of epidemiology Dr. Iman Almansour, who heads the team of researchers working on the vaccine at the Institute for Research and Medical Consultations (IRMC), affiliated with Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University (IAU), confirmed to Arab News on Friday that the studies were complete, and said clinical trials would begin as soon as “the proper approvals” had been given.

She did not specify when that is expected to happen.

The Ministry of Education is financing the team’s project. The team’s research paper has been published in the peer-reviewed journal Pharmaceuticals.

According to the published paper, the vaccine has so far proven effective, when used on animals, in eliciting antibodies that will target the virus. “The vaccine is given to the body to build protein inside cells, which stimulate the body to produce immunity specific to the S antigen,” Dr. Almansour explained.

Dr. Turki Almugaiteeb, director of Healthcare and Life Sciences at RPD Innovations, which runs the National Vaccine and Biomanufacturing Center, told Arab News: “There is a great focus on the results of medical research because of the pandemic. Research can play a great role in developing a vaccine that can be adopted and further developed in the future. We can say that the Kingdom has a strong infrastructure, which can help produce and manufacture a national vaccine.”

Both Almugaiteeb and Almansour stressed that the experimental vaccine will need to go through rigorous testing and several trial stages before it is approved for use by the Saudi Food and Drug Authority.

Prof. Nasser Al-Aqeeli, the deputy minister of education for research and innovation, said the ministry supported programs at the Kingdom’s universities with more than SR500 million ($133.3 million) in 2020.