Issue Brief on “Saudi Arabia’s Nuclear Power Ambitions”


Saudi Arabia, best known for its large oil reserves, is planning to pursue nuclear power. Saudi Arabia plans to construct 17 nuclear power reactors over the next 20-25 years at a cost of more than $80 billion. It projects 17.6 GWe of nuclear capacity by 2032 to provide 15% of the power.[1] Riyadh is looking to diversify its energy supply for its 32 million population.

Saudi Arabia is the second country in this region to pursue nuclear energy. The first one was UAE whose first plant is expected to come online in the 2018. The world’s biggest exporter of oil wants to reduce the amount of crude oil it burns at home to generate electricity so that it can export more of it. Saudi Arabia is also looking to retard the consumption of country’s fossil fuel and diversify the economics of the nation.

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