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As policymakers grapple with the twin challenges of climate change and a post-COVID economic recovery, the benefits of nuclear power are clearer than ever, but the industry still has some way to go in addressing perceptions of its alleged drawbacks with cost, safety and radioactive waste. This was the overriding message of the three panellists in a webinar held last week by Utilities Middle East in partnership with Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom.

Date: Friday, 01 January 2021
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/The-barrier-to-nuclear-is-perception,-says-panel

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

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

Saudi Arabia’s first ever nuclear power project is gaining momentum with the Kingdom announcing on 11 July that it had shortlisted the Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom for the next stage of the bidding process. 

Date: Thursday, 12 July 2018
Original article: neimagazine.com/news/newssaudi-arabia-shortlists-rosatom-for-nuclear-project-6244927

French engineering group Assystem is to conduct site characterisation and impact studies for Saudi Arabia's first nuclear power plant under a contract from the King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy (KA-CARE). The contract was awarded recently following an international call for tenders launched by KA-CARE.

Date: Wednesday, 04 July 2018
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/Assystem-to-assess-potential-Saudi-sites

Rosatom, the Russian state nuclear corporation, yesterday signed a series of agreements with overseas companies during the Atomexpo conference and exhibition being held this week in Sochi, Russia. The agreements, with Chile, China, Cuba, Finland, Hungary, Iran, Italy, Kazakhstan, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Spain and Zambia, include the engineering and medical sectors, among others.

Date: Wednesday, 16 May 2018
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/Rosatom-expands-overseas-links-with-new-agreements

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

Rosatom and the King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy (KA-CARE) signed a 'program of cooperation' in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy in Moscow yesterday as part of Saudi Arabian King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud's state visit to Russia. The program aims to develop the intergovernmental agreement on cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy the two countries signed in June 2015.

Date: Friday, 06 October 2017
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/Russia,-Saudi-Arabia-strengthen-ties-in-nuclear-en

Saudi Arabia and Kazakhstan on 25 October signed an agreement to cooperate in the peaceful use of nuclear energy. Following a meeting with Saudi Arabia's minister of energy, industry and mineral resource, Khalid Al-Falih, on 24 October, Kazakh energy minister Kanat Bozumbayev said, "Kazakhstan is a leader in the production of natural uranium. We have a joint venture with Russia for uranium enrichment. We produce [fuel] pellets; we are at the stage of creating fuel assemblies. We have the necessary experience, which we can share with our Saudi colleagues."

Date: Wednesday, 09 November 2016
Original article: neimagazine.com/news/newskazakhstan-signs-agreements-with-saudi-arabia-and-russia-5663610