Integrated Nuclear Infrastructure Survey in Saudi Arabia

Integrated Nuclear Infrastructure Survey  in Saudi Arabia

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has concluded that Saudi Arabia can continue to develop a nuclear power plant in the country. It should be recalled that to this day, according to overt publications, Saudi Arabia has expressed a desire to control the fuel cycle. The Integrated Nuclear Infrastructure Survey (INIR), which ended on July 24, was commissioned by the Saudi government. It was completed during a 12-days mission in Saudi Arabia to examine the development of its nuclear power program infrastructure.

The team included experts from Brazil, Spain and the United Kingdom as well as the IAEA, examining the status of 19 nuclear energy problems through the IAEA’s nuclear energy infrastructure and assessing the state of development of national infrastructures. Prior to the mission, Saudi Arabia submitted a self-assessment report covering all infrastructure issues as well as supporting documents to the IAEA.

The team presented recommendations and proposals in which further action would be beneficial to Saudi Arabia, including coordination and development of outstanding nuclear policy and strategies, completion of key organizations’ readiness, and completion of studies towards the future stages of the nuclear power program.

Last year, the government launched a project to seek suppliers’ bids for the construction of two nuclear reactors after announcing its intention to add nuclear power to the country’s energy mix. The INIR delegation reviewed the state of development of nuclear infrastructure using the IAEA Phase 2 milestone criteria, which provides detailed guidance across three stages (development, planning, preparation).

The end of phase 2 signifies the willingness of a country to invite proposals or negotiate a contract for its first nuclear power plant. “The INIR mission was carried out in a cooperative and open atmosphere,” said team leader Jose Bastos, technical director of the IAEA’s Nuclear Infrastructure Development Department, “Saudi Arabia is well placed to finalize its plans to build its first nuclear power plant.”

The INIR team said that Saudi Arabia had made significant progress in developing its nuclear power infrastructure. It has established a legislative framework and conducts extensive research to support the next phases of the program. Saudi Arabia has developed partnerships with experienced countries in the use of nuclear power and is extensively using their technical support.

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Arnaud Lefevre

Arnaud Lefevre is the Chief Executive Officer of Dynatom International. Arnaud is in charge of the international development of the business portfolio.