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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

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 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

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