Apparently Russia is helping build Saudi’s new research reactor, so it will be almost certainly run off of HEU (Highly Enriched Uranium), which can be used in nuclear weapons. The Saudi Crown Prince has threatened to develop nuclear weapons, if Iran does.
According to World Nuclear News:
“Research reactors have been included in the scope of cooperation agreements previously signed by Saudi Arabia with China, Russia and South Korea. A programme of cooperation signed in October 2017 between KA-CARE and Russian nuclear company Rosatom focused on small and medium reactors and on building a new research reactor.” http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/Saudi-Arabia-lays-research-reactor-foundation-ston (Emphasis our own.)
“Nuclear research reactors worldwide use highly enriched uranium (HEU) as fuel and for the production of medical isotopes. Because HEU can also be used in nuclear weapons, the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Reduced Enrichment for Research and Test Reactors program is developing low enriched uranium (LEU), which would be very difficult to use in weapons, to replace HEU.” https://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-04-807
“More than twenty states commit to minimize HEU in civilian applications“, February 16, 2017 http://fissilematerials.org/blog/2017/02/more_than_twenty_states_c.html
The article notes that the 20 states do NOT include Russia, nor Germany. And, that Russia “is the largest user of HEU in civilian applications“. South Korea committed to minimizing HEU, but China did not.
Theme song of long-time Trump friend Netanayahu, Trump, and probably Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz (aka MBS): “Bomb Iran Song” http://youtu.be/zBGPw_LBiRA Apparently Putin is providing the HEU, since Russia’s Rosatom is government owned, so he may not care if Iran gets bombed either. They are all stark raving mad!
“Saudi Arabia lays research reactor foundation stone
06 November 2018
A foundation stone for Saudi Arabia’s first research reactor has been laid at King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST).
The low-energy research reactor was one of seven strategic projects in renewable and atomic energy, water desalination, genetic medicine and aircraft manufacturing formally inaugurated yesterday by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, who is also vice president of Saudi Arabia’s Council of Ministers and the country’s minister of defence.
Saudi Arabia’s official press agency did not give further details of the research reactor project. However, according to the Riyadh Daily, construction of the 100 KW reactor is already under way and the project is due to be completed by the end of 2019.
“[The] specifications and design of the reactor were developed by Saudi nuclear experts and with the participation of the King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy and international expert houses with the highest international safety standards,” it reported.
Saudi Arabia intends to add nuclear power to the country’s energy mix with the objective of diversifying and boosting its production capacity. The King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy (KA-CARE) last year announced that it was soliciting proposals for 2.9 GWe of nuclear capacity from China, Japan, Russia and South Korea. The country is also advancing plans for small reactors.
Research reactors have been included in the scope of cooperation agreements previously signed by Saudi Arabia with China, Russia and South Korea. A programme of cooperation signed in October 2017 between KA-CARE and Russian nuclear company Rosatom focused on small and medium reactors and on building a new research reactor.
The International Atomic Energy Agency in July completed a mission to assess the development of the infrastructure required for a Saudi nuclear power programme, and KA-CARE has contracted French engineering group Assystem to conduct site characterisation and impact studies for the country’s first nuclear power plant. Researched and written by World Nuclear News”. http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/Saudi-Arabia-lays-research-reactor-foundation-ston
“Why Saudi Arabia and Iran are bitter rivals By Jonathan Marcus Defence and diplomatic correspondent 18 November 2017
“MBS: Saudis will pursue nuclear weapons if Iran does” 15 Mar 2018 https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/03/mbs-saudis-pursue-nuclear-weapons-iran-180315152433732.html
“HRH Crown Prince Inaugurates and Lays Foundation Stones for Seven Strategic Projects, including Saudi Arabia’s First Nuclear Research Reactor, & Aircraft Fuselage Factory 2 Riyadh” Tuesday 1440/2/28 – 2018/11/06 Archived news release from Saudi Arabia: https://archive.is/zXbFe
License to reproduce World Nuclear News article archived: https://archive.is/YwMGv