Saudi Arabia to pursue nuclear energy program as part of peace deal with Israel

Saudi Arabia to pursue nuclear energy program as part of peace deal with Israel

SAUDI Arabia’s Energy Minister, Abdulaziz Bin Salman Al-Saud said that Saudi Arabia would terminate its agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) under the small quantities protocol.

The small quantities protocol exempts countries with limited nuclear material, or none at all, from inspections and the obligation to report nuclear activity to the IAEA.

Its termination means that the oil-rich kingdom is committed to pursuing its nuclear energy ambitions as part of the ongoing negotiations for a historic peace deal with Israel.

By doing so, Saudi Arabia has agreed to an increased international oversight of its nuclear activity by atomic energy inspectors, as it aims to become a more powerful player on the international stage.

The Saudi energy minister also pledged to create stronger safeguards and authorize more checks from the International Atomic Energy Agency, the United Nation’s nuclear watchdog.

The oil-rich kingdom is in close cooperation with the UN agency to develop peaceful uses of nuclear energy in various fields and build the first nuclear power plant in the country.

Saudi Arabia, one of the world’s biggest oil producers, has no nuclear power plant and is officially a non-nuclear-weapon state.

For years, the oil-rich kingdom has explored the development of a domestic nuclear energy industry to reduce its dependence on fossil fuels.

In 2013, the Kingdom had plans to establish a civil nuclear power industry but the project was abandoned two years later.


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