An International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said Tuesday that a team of experts has concluded a twelve-day mission to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to review its development of infrastructure for a nuclear power program.
The Integrated Nuclear Infrastructure Review (INIR), which ended on 24 July, was carried out at the invitation of the Government of Saudi Arabia, the IAEA said.
Although an oil-exporting powerhouse, Saudi Arabia, with more than 33 million people, is looking to diversify power production capacity for long term security and economic growth. Subsequently, the government lasts year launched efforts to request vendors apply for for construction contracts for two nuclear power reactors.
The INIR mission reviewed the status of nuclear infrastructure development using the Phase 2 criteria of the IAEA's Milestones Approach, which provides guidance across three phases of project development.
The end of Phase 2 marks the readiness of a country to invite bids or negotiate a contract for its first nuclear power plant.
The INIR team was hosted by the King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy (K.A.CARE), which is the country’s Nuclear Energy Program Implementing Organization.
“The INIR mission was conducted in a cooperative and open atmosphere” said team leader Jose Bastos, Technical Lead of the IAEA’s Nuclear Infrastructure Development Section. “Saudi Arabia is well placed to finalize its plans for construction of its first nuclear power plant.”
The INIR team said that Saudi Arabia has made significant progress in the development of its nuclear power infrastructure. It has established a legislative framework and is carrying out comprehensive studies to support the next steps of the program. Saudi Arabia has developed partnerships with countries experienced in the use of nuclear power and is extensively using their technical support. Prior to the mission, Saudi Arabia submitted a Self-Evaluation Report covering all infrastructure issues as well as supporting documents to the IAEA.
The team made recommendations and identified good practices that would benefit other countries considering the introduction of nuclear power in the areas of management, regulatory framework, siting and human resource development.
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