Finland To Help Saudi Arabia Set Up Nuclear Regulator


Finland’s Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority (Stuk) is cooperating with Saudi authorities on setting up a radiation and nuclear safety authority as “the first practical step” towards a civilian nuclear energy programme in Saudi Arabia, a statement said.


Stuk said its counterpart in Saudi Arabia is King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy (Kacare) and that cooperation had formally begun last month. Kacare was established in 2010 and is being developed as a “sustainable city” that is also the base for nuclear and renewable energy programmes.

Stuk will support organisations in Kacere, 25 kilometers southwest of the capital Riyadh, in establishing a regulatory body and developing safety regulations. Stuk will also provide training to staff and offer assistance in the recruitment process, the statement said.

Saudi Arabia does not have any nuclear plants, but in January 2012 signed an agreement with China to increase cooperation in the development and use of nuclear energy.

Saudi Arabia has also been in discussions or signed nuclear cooperation agreements with the US, the UK, France, Russia and the Czech Republic.

GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy and Westinghouse, who are planning to pursue orders for reactors in Saudi Arabia, have said Saudi Arabia plans to construct as many as 16 nuclear units by 2032.

GEH said it will pursue orders for its BWR technology, the 1,300-megawatt advanced boiling water reactor and the 1,500-MW Economic Simplified BWR.

Westinghouse said it and majority owner Toshiba will pursue orders for its advanced pressurised water reactor, the 1,100-MW-class AP1000.

GEH said reactor construction in Saudi Arabia is expected to begin in 2017, with the first reactor beginning commercial operation in 2025 and the final unit in 2032.