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Nuclear energy in Saudi Arabia within Vision 2030 Program: Prospects for nuclear energy cooperation and nonproliferation risks

Inna Rodina
Nuclear energy in Saudi Arabia within Vision 2030 Program: Prospects for nuclear energy cooperation and nonproliferation risks image

Saudi Arabia is considered a nuclear “newcomer”. Although Saudi Arabia’s nuclear program dates back to the 1960s, the kingdom has demonstrated significant interest in nuclear energy only over the last decade. The Saudi interest in the peaceful use of nuclear energy is due to several reasons, among which both general for all Middle Eastern nuclear “newcomers” and specific only to the kingdom. Under the Saudi Vision 2030, nuclear energy is one of the key components of the kingdom’s successful development.

Despite the Saudi ambitious plans in the nuclear energy field that were posed ten years ago, no visible progress has been reached yet. One of the possible reasons is concerns of the nuclear supplier countries and their reluctance to contribute to the nuclear power program in the kingdom. Indeed, Saudi Arabia poses a threat to the nonproliferation regime. The research studies the ways through which the kingdom can acquire nuclear weapons. It concludes that currently, Saudi Arabia has the insufficient infrastructure to build nuclear weapons, as it has no facilities for the conversion, enrichment, or production of uranium fuel, nor any reprocessing facilities. However, Saudi Arabia has ballistic missiles that it has been purchasing from China since 1987.

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Imprint:

Security Index №6(21), March 2021

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