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News Link • Saudi Arabia

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

•, brian wang

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.

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 contract. 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 three-year refueling cycle. The first SMART unit in Saudi Arabia is estimated to cost $1 billion.

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