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The Wall Street Journal has claimed that Saudi Arabia has constructed a facility – with assistance from China – to extract uranium yellowcake from uranium ore, citing western officials with knowledge of the matter.

The US newspaper reported that the processing facility, which has not been publicly disclosed, is in Saudi Arabia’s northwest region and is raising concerns from US officials. It said the main concern is that as the kingdom moves ahead with developing a commercial nuclear programme, it is keeping the door open for the creation of nuclear weapons.

Press reports said the Saudi energy ministry has “categorically denied” that it has built a uranium ore facility in the area described by the western officials. However, the reports quoted Saudi officials as saying that the extraction of uranium is a key component of the kingdom's economic diversification strategy, which looks to move away from its dependence on oil exports.

The energy ministry confirmed Saudi Arabia has a contract with China on uranium exploration in certain areas.

Date: Thursday, 06 August 2020
Original article: nucnet.org/news/saudi-arabia-press-report-claims-kingdom-has-built-uranium-processing-facility-8-3-2020

The main challenges facing the nuclear industry are not in the production and delivery of electricity, but in securing the policy support required for it to expand its contribution of sustainable and low-carbon energy. This was the message of Philippe Costes, senior advisor at World Nuclear Assocation, to delegates at the Nuclear Power Plants Expo & Summit in Istanbul this week.

Date: Friday, 06 March 2020
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/Speech-Policy-support-for-nuclear-in-the-global-en

The impetus for new build is being spurred by a need to reduce reliance on polluting coal China has 10 nuclear units under construction including two Generation III Hualong One plants at Fangchenggang. China, with its state nuclear companies backed by a government hungry for development, is the most active nation for building new nuclear power plants. That trend that is likely to continue, although confirming lucrative export deals for its reactor technology still runs far behind the pace set by Russia, which says it had 39 reactors under construction or planned overseas as of 2018.

This compares to only two reactors under construction overseas by China, both in Pakistan, although in the UK China has a stake in EDF’s Hinkley Point C project and plans for Chinese technology at Bradwell B. At Sizewell C in Suffolk EDF wants to build a clone of Hinkley Point C if it can attract enough private investment. CGN holds a 20% share.

The government has said it wants to build 30 reactors overseas by 2030. China and Russia both see Africa, where about 600 million people live without electricity, as something of a golden fleece and are pursuing nuclear agreements, which lay the groundwork for new-build, in a number of African nations. Small modular reactors and floating reactors could be an option for isolated areas. China has already said it is close to starting work on its first floating unit, but reliable details are few and far between.

The impetus for nuclear power in China is increasingly due to air pollution from coal-fired plants. To meet its climate goal as stipulated in the Paris agreement, China will need to reduce its coal power capacity by 40% over the next decade, according to Global Energy Monitor’s analysis. At present, this seems unrealistic. In addition to roughly 1,000 GW of existing coal capacity, China has 121 GW of coal plants under construction, which is more than is being built in the rest of the world combined.

Date: Friday, 24 January 2020
Original article: nucnet.org/news/china-keen-to-match-pace-set-by-russia-in-overseas-construction-1-4-2020

US energy secretary Rick Perry. US energy secretary Rick Perry confirmed that talks are continuing with Riyadh about supporting Saudi Arabia’s planned civilian nuclear programme.

Mr Perry told an energy forum that Saudi Arabia wants to sign a ‘123 agreement’ with the US.

A 123 agreement sets out rules governing US nuclear cooperation with other nations.

Under the terms of a 123 agreement, Riyadh must sign an accord with Washington committing to the peaceful use of nuclear technology before US companies can compete for its nuclear energy projects in Saudi Arabia.

Date: Wednesday, 13 November 2019
Original article: nucnet.org/news/talks-continuing-with-us-about-new-nuclear-says-perry-11-2-2019

There is growing interest in nuclear power across several African countries. The USA could be more engaged to create more equitable and sustainable deployment of clean nuclear power on the African continent, write Jessica Lovering and Kenton de Kirby of the Breakthrough Institute.

Date: Friday, 11 January 2019
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/Viewpoint-Why-the-USA-should-partner-with-Africa-t

Saudi Arabia’s crown prince Mohammed bin Salman on 6 November launched a project to build the first nuclear research reactor in the kingdom, the Saudi Press Agency reported. During a visit to King Abdulaziz City for Atomic and Renewable Energy (KaCare) he initiated seven projects in renewable energy, nuclear energy, water desalination, genetic medicine, and aircraft industries.

Date: Thursday, 08 November 2018
Original article: neimagazine.com/news/newssaudi-arabia-launches-research-reactor-project-6842110

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has completed a mission to Saudi Arabia to assess its development of the infrastructure required for a nuclear power programme. The country is preparing to invite bids for the construction of its first nuclear power plant.

Date: Tuesday, 31 July 2018
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/IAEA-assesses-Saudi-nuclear-infrastructure-develop

Saudi Arabia has sent a request for information (RFI) to international suppliers to build two nuclear power plants, the first step towards a formal tender, Reuters reported on 31 October citing “three sources”.

Date: Saturday, 04 November 2017
Original article: neimagazine.com/news/newssaudi-arabia-prepares-for-nuclear-construction-5964434

Saudi Arabia and China are to cooperate on nuclear energy projects following discussions on ways to support the Saudi kingdom’s nuclear energy programme during the official visit of Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli to Saudi Arabia, state news agency SPA reported. Saudi Arabia launched a renewable energy programme earlier this year and is in the early stages of feasibility and design studies for its first two commercial nuclear reactors, which will total 2,400MWe. China National Nuclear Corp (CNNC) on 24 August signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Saudi Geological Survey (SGS) to promote further existing cooperation between the two sides to explore and assess uranium and thorium resources, SPA said. The MOU builds on existing cooperation in this field. Under an MOU signed in March, CNNC said it will explore nine potential areas for uranium resources in Saudi Arabia within the next two years.

Date: Monday, 28 August 2017
Original article: neimagazine.com/news/newssaudi-arabia-and-china-boost-nuclear-co-operation-5910620