What you want to know about Saudi Arabia’s Multi-Purpose Nuclear Reactor Project
Saudi Arabia is proceeding steadily in its peaceful nuclear energy program. The low-energy nuclear research reactor project launched by Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman is part of seven strategic projects in the spheres of renewable and atomic energy, water desalination, genetic medicine and aircraft manufacturing in King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology.
The project aims to establish the first research nuclear plant in the Kingdom. It also contributes to rehabilitating and developing human resources and research competencies related to science and nuclear engineering together with conducting specialized scientific researches, developing the nuclear industry and transferring its technologies in a way that boost the national atomic energy project in the Kingdom.
Specifications of the reactor and its design have been set by Nuclear energy experts affiliated to King Abdul Aziz City for Science and Technology with the participation of international expert houses and with the highest national and international safety standards of nuclear engineering projects recommended by the International Atomic Energy Agency. This includes the design of the core of the reactor, nuclear fuel, system control and nuclear safety analysis report.
The reactor was designed to contain uranium oxide fuel by 2.1% enrichment and with a capacity 100 KW. In the current phase, constructions of the project are underway, the nuclear reactor basin has been installed and nuclear fuel manufacturing has been completed. The project is due to be completed by the end of 2019.
The low-energy research reactor is set to be a key building block that enhances nuclear research and transfers of knowledge and global technologies. Advanced laboratories and equipment at the National Center of Nuclear Technology are responsible for serving research and technical cooperation with universities and local research centers and making use of facilities available to postgraduate students, especially radiometric measurement laboratories and national calibration laboratories.
In addition, the center provides its potential in measurement operations and monitoring of radon and determination of levels of radioactive contamination outside laboratories in the city's sites.
Multi-purpose reactor is designed to be a central plank in developing human resources in scientific fields in general and areas of nuclear science in particular. In addition, 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.