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

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.


King Salman receives closing statement of the Science Group Summit

Saudi Health Minister Dr. Tawfiq Al-Rabiah, right, receives the closing statement of the S20 group from its chair Dr. Anas bin Faris Al-Fares. (SPA)
Updated 29 September 2020

King Salman receives closing statement of the Science Group Summit

  • The closing statement of the meeting included 10 recommendations, which will be submitted to the G20 heads of state

On behalf of King Salman, Health Minister Dr. Tawfiq Al-Rabiah on Monday received the closing statement of the Science Group Summit (S20) from the group’s chair, Dr. Anas bin Faris Al-Fares, who is also the president of King Abdul Aziz City for Science and Technology, after a virtual meeting.
Several scientific organizations from the G20 countries took part in the meeting, which was hosted by Saudi Arabia. The S20 group focuses on future health, a circular economy and the digital revolution. The meeting stressed the importance of making decisions based on scientific facts supported by data.
The closing statement of the meeting included 10 recommendations, which will be submitted to the G20 heads of state. More than 180 scholars participated in drafting the recommendation. They called for increasing the level of preparedness in the wake of a pandemic. They also recommended consolidating advanced treatment and precision medical research with a particular focus on keeping the costs affordable and treatments accessible to all.
The group also stressed the need to devise policies to face challenges arising from demographic shifts. One of the recommendations includes development of an integrated approach to the extraction of natural resources.
They also urged the relevant authorities to consolidate recycling systems to curb carbon emissions.