Atomic Energy is a safe, reliable, clean and mature energy source with an exemplary safety track record. It used widely around the world generating around 16% of total energy demand whilst only requiring small amounts of fuel to generate huge amounts of energy. Beneficially, nuclear plants neither pollute the atmosphere nor generate much waste, added to which and contrary to traditional wisdom, there is absolutely no possibility that a nuclear plant can explode.
According to the IAEA, there are 433 nuclear reactors presently in operation in 30 countries across the globe, with 65 new reactors under construction, 16 of which are in Asia and more than 400 planned or proposed including two within the GCC. Plans for the closure of existing nuclear plants in Spain and Japan were reversed during 2012.
In plants whose life span exceeds 60 years, atomic energy provides uniform and stable generation throughout the year, utilizing fuel that is competitive with oil and gas at international prices, and overall is more competitive than renewable energy. Safety of nuclear reactors is highly advanced with any risks markedly reduced, especially following the introduction of third generation plants that are increasingly efficient, and are inherently safe in design. Saudi Arabia will only deploy the most advanced and thoroughly tested technologies paying maximum attention to safety, security and safeguards of the highest international standards when installing its planned nuclear reactors that are recommended to generate 17.6GW of power progressively over the years to 2032.
A wholly independent regulator is to be established, the Saudi Arabian Atomic Regulatory Authority, to oversee the Kingdom’s civil atomic energy program and ensure all safeguards are in place for all our stakeholders. Such is the importance of safety, transparency, the safeguarding of stakeholders and compliance with international standards and regulations that K●A●CARE has been in direct communication with the International Atomic Energy Agency and with nuclear energy regulatory bodies in other countries.
A major benefit of atomic energy will be the creation of high-value-added jobs, the establishment of nuclear technology competencies, and the instilling of technical leadership amongst Saudis over the years to 2032. Additionally, atomic energy will be a strong enabler of industrial development well into the future, including the development of atomic engineering and research capacity, atomic reactor technology, and fuel cycle research and development. Other applications in the fields of medicine, agriculture, minerals, and water desalination are also anticipated.
Furthermore, a comprehensive understanding of the safety culture is essential for the nuclear industry and will be instilled, not only into our employees, but also to the population in general in order to overcome whatever concerns they may have.