Saudi Arabia Works with South Korea, China, Argentina on Nuclear Power

Google Earth Satellite images show that Saudi Arabia is within months of completing an experimental nuclear reactor. Saudi Arabia is working with Argentina on the experimental reactors. In March 2015, INVAP (Investigacion Aplicada) from Argentina and state-owned Saudi technology innovation company Taqnia set up a joint venture company, Invania, to develop nuclear technology for Saudi Arabia’s nuclear power program, apparently focusing on small reactors such as CAREM (100 MWt, 27 MWe) for desalination. Saudi Arabia has a goal of creating Small Modular Reactors with South Korea and/or Argentina that could generate 3.2 gigawatts of nuclear power for Saudi Arabia in 2030. The World Nuclear Association reports that Saudi Arabia plans to construct two large nuclear power reactors. This is scaled back from building 16 over the next 20-25 years at a cost of more than $80 billion.
Google Earth satellite shots of Experimental Nuclear Reactor facility in Saudi Arabia

Small and Large Nuclear Reactors In Planning and Study Phases

In March 2015 the Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute (KAERI) signed an agreement with KA-CARE to assess the potential for building at least two South Korean SMART reactors in the country, and possibly more.

KEPCO is undertaking the pre-project planning and feasibility studies for KAERI’s $130 million . SMART Power will be the prime EPC contractor, with construction start expected in 2018. SMART is designed for electricity generation (up to 100 MWe) as well as seawater desalination. It has a 60-year design life and refueling cycle. The first SMART unit in Saudi Arabia is estimated to cost $1 billion.

South Korea and Saudi Arabia want to commercialize and sell the SMART reactor to third countries. KAERI has designed an integrated desalination plant based on the SMART reactor to produce 40,000 m3/day of water and 90 MWe of power at less than the cost of turbine.

In January 2016 KA-CARE signed an agreement with China Nuclear Engineering Corporation (CNEC) to build a high-temperature reactor (HTR) based on the HTR-PM now under construction in China.

In January 2015, the Saudi government said its target for 17 GWe of nuclear capacity would be more like 2040. In 2017 KA-CARE announced that it was soliciting proposals for 2.9 GWe nuclear capacity, from South Korea, China, Russia and Japan. In November 2018 KA-CARE awarded a contract to Worley Parsons to provide consultancy services for the Saudi National Atomic Energy Project.

SOURCES – World Nuclear Association, Bloomberg, Google Earth

Written by Brian Wang, nextbigfuture.com

31 thoughts on “Saudi Arabia Works with South Korea, China, Argentina on Nuclear Power”

  1. Considering you have replied as much as anyone, are you the troll?

    My comments typically follow logic, unless I am trying to piss someone off that is trolling (rare, not in this case).

    Also, no getting someone to sell plutonium (highly protected only and only produced by a few) is hard. The stuff is crazy regulated.

    Making your own if you have a reactor and an bunch or Uranium and nuclear waste lying around, not as hard. If you build a breeder, which can be a small operation.

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  2. NATO give nations like Germany and the rest of it’s alliance a few dozen nukes on loan. It’s part of the NATO pact.

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  3. Ever hear of a breeder reactor. You only need uranium to roughly double a reactor grade then you can cover regular fule rods to bombard. You can create plutonium by making a smallish breeder reactor to turn into plutonium. Once you have fuel rods and a small centrifuge operation to enrich a layer that is a bit higher, and a reactor, you can make whatever you want. If they are managing their own reactor program, this is not that hard. Sure reactor uranium is not that potent, but take the waste refine to U-235 and use it for PU and it is. Again, this is if they manage all phases of the project.

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  4. But regular reactors with low enriched uranium (i.e., radioactive and fissile U-235) can be used to generate excess neutrons in a non-radioactive U-238 “blanket” surrounding the actively fissioning U-235-containing fuel rods, in a typical reactor to make radioactive and highly fissionable Plutonium – Pu-239. This is called breeding and some reactors intensionally increase plutonium as part of their U-235 fissioning to increase the reactors efficiency.

    Regarding atomic bombs: Two balls of U-235 were shot at each other, to be squeezed into the smaller “critical mass” needed to create a density of radiating neutrons needed to initiate sustained fission. Called Little Boy, it was to make the skinnier one of the two atomic bombs which were dropped over Japan, in Hiroshima on August 6th 1945. I contrast, the Fat Man bombs used in the Trinity nuclear test in July 1945, and in the bombing of Nagasaki in August 1945, had plutonium cores which were compressed with a large surrounding sphere of conventional high explosives, making concentric explosive lens to compress the plutonium into a critical mass.

    It is easier to make plutonium than highly enriched U-235, which need numerous high-tech centrifuges. The Saudi Arabian nuclear reactor is an insane proliferation threat with the royal gangsters behind Al Qaeda in Afghanistan, which was a CIA operation under the Raegan-Bush (and former CIA head) administration. More recently, the Saudis and the CIA also supported ISIS. Dangerous

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  5. When Sweden couldn’t afford to develop both nuclear weapons and a jet capable of delivering them, they came to a secret deal with the US that the latter would not allow the Soviets to invade. So a de facto, not de jure, Nato member. Their submarines have been showing the USN how to do it, too.

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  6. You seem like you know exactly where Saudi Arabia’s nukes are stored.

    No I don’t ‘seem’. I have no idea where they are stored in Pakistan.

    Nor did I write anything that would imply that I did.

    Nice try, troll.

    Please, if you do have this vast knowledge of a sovereign countries nuclear stockpile, we would all like to know how. We’re waiting…

    I am not your Google Bítch. Go look it up yourself. I am waiting.

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  7. Do you have information to confirm that more was shared?

    If you do, please share. Oh and next time: Expect this kind of response when you attempt to trick someone into believing that they must prove a negative just because you ask them to.

    We’re waiting.

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  8. They are not officially a part of NATO, yet they cooperate with it and have for years. The Swedish build all of their military equipment to conform with NATO.

    Anyway the main point is that you listed nations with zero reason to acquire a nuke, then tried to make it out like SA was the same. When anyone with any sense knows that comparing the nuclear ambitions of Sweden, Germany, or any other nation you listed to SA is a fallacy.

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  9. Every nation you listed has the technical capacity to build a nuke in a very short period of time if they so desired. The reason they do not is that every nation on that list is also linked to the US with a defense pact. They have no need for developing them.

    Germany, Finland and Sweden are part of NATO which the US has “loaned” dozens of nukes to. Japan and S . Korea have a defense pact with the US. Taiwan would be attacked by China immediately if came out they were developing nukes. You have essentially listed nations that have “zero” reason to develop a nuke, yet easily have the capability.

    Saudi Arabia does have a reason to want nukes, they have ambitious plans for being the dominate regional power.

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  10. The barbarian kinkdom of SA should and wants to build 6 AP1000, which would put Westinghouse on solid ground. Unfortunately, our conkgress isn’t going to allow that. This puppet kinkdom does have enough autonomy to go buy them from Russia or Korea.

    Yes, Argentina raises its little Chihuahua head. Argentina is not a big dog in nuclear, but a Chihuahua is a dog nonetheless.

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  11. You seem like you know exactly where Saudi Arabia’s nukes are stored.

    Where did you get this information, and are you sure it’s accurate? Have you been to this Pakistani warehouse where all of the supposed nukes are stored?

    Please, if you do have this vast knowledge of a sovereign countries nuclear stockpile, we would all like to know how. We’re waiting…

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  12. Do you have more information to confirm that that’s all the tech that was shared?

    If you do, please, share it with us all. We’re waiting.

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  13. SA already has nuclear weapons:

    They are stored in a Pakistani warehouse; having been built by Pakistan as payment for Saudi funding of THEIR nuclear program twenty years ago. The Saudis just have to ask for them and can get them delivered within 8 hours.

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  14. Yes. And Trump allowed nuclear power plant tech to be sold to SA as part of this.

    And what did the ‘unbiased media’ in the US do? An entire news cycle of “Trump Secretly Gives Nuclear Weapons Tech to Saudis!”

    And then people wonder why the public doesn’t trust the media?

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  15. So what you’re saying (which validates Combinatorics point) is that the problem is political and ideological and not technological?

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  16. Why does weapon laws exist.
    Because maniacs go berserk or the middle east 🙂

    That is outside of stuff like punt guns and dynamite fishing.
    Later is to protect species and have an majority have an sport of it.

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  17. I am not confusing anything, a country that chooses to develop its own nuclear power plants instead of buying better technology ready made and insisting on taking control on the whole cycle is a prime suspect for developing nuclear weapons. Saudi Arabia is not Germany not Japan, nor are its motives.

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  18. You confused nuclear power with nuclear weapons.

    Do you live in fear that Japan will develop nuclear weapons? If not, why?
    Do you live in fear that South Korea will develop nuclear weapons? If not, why?
    Do you live in fear that Taiwan will develop nuclear weapons? If not, why?
    Do you live in fear that Finland will develop nuclear weapons? If not, why?
    Do you live in fear that Sweden will develop nuclear weapons? If not, why?
    Do you live in fear that Germany will develop nuclear weapons? If not, why?

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  19. An excellent example of a wrong country moving to develop its own nuclear power. 3.2 GW is huge, not small, maybe they are advertising it like that… The psychotic prince has a lot of lust for nuclear weapons which he can barely hide. This is the reason why nuclear energy will not save us but just as well may be be our doom.

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