Nuclear power agreement signed by China and Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia has signed an agreement with China for assistance in the development of nuclear power in the oil-rich nation. According to the Saudi Press Agency, the official news source for the Kingdom, Dr. Hashem Yamani, president of King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy (KACARE), and Chang Peng, president of the National Commission for Development and Reforms of China, signed the agreements.

The deal was signed to strengthen scientific, technological and economic cooperation between the two countries while developing cooperation in areas such as maintenance and development of nuclear power plants and research reactors, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Saudi Arabia has already signed agreements with France, Argentina and South Korea.

In June 2011, the Saudi Government announced that it will commit more than $100 billion over the next 20 years to develop a civil nuclear program. The Kingdom is planning to build 16 nuclear reactors at a projected cost of $7 billion each, according to an announcement at the Gulf Environment Forum by Abdul Ghani bin Melaibari, Coordinator of Scientific Collaboration at KACARE.

Saudi Arabia took its first major step toward creating a civil nuclear program in April 2010, through the establishment of KACARE, which is designed to address the country’s growing need for energy and desalinated water through the utilization of innovation, science, research, and industries related to atomic and renewable energy for peaceful purposes.

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