Saudi Arabia's need for Atomic Energy
Due to the rapid increase in energy demand across the industrial and residential sectors and to reduces the reliance on hydrocarbon in order to use petroleum for higher value purposes and export, the Kingdom is planning a sustainable energy mix that includes Atomic energy to meet the energy needs of the Kingdom to produce electricity, desalinated water and thermal energy. This will contribute in the process of balanced economic development. Therefore, introducing the nuclear energy into the national energy mix will impact positively on the energy industry in the kingdom, which consequent job creation and development in Energy and investment sector.
Building Resources for the Future
Saudi National Atomic Energy Project (SNAEP)
SNEAP was launched to enable a peaceful nuclear energy in the kingdom to contribute to the national energy mix in accordance with local requirements and international commitments and to be an important part in achieving the Kingdom vision 2030. In addition, nuclear energy will play a major role in reducing the increasing consumption of nation's fossil fuel and diversify the economics of the nation.
Saudi National Atomic Energy Project (SNAEP) Components
There are 4 core components of SNAEP as: (1) Large Nuclear power plant, (2) Small Module Reactor, (3) Nuclear fuel cycle and (4) Regulator. The below figure shows all SNAEP components.
Component 1: Large Nuclear Power Plant (LNPP)
A reactor with an electrical capacity of 1200-1600 megawatts that aimed to support with the base load in the electrical grid throughout the year. LNPP contains Site characterizations and infrastructure preparations as well as Front-End Engineering Design "FEED" for adapting a Standard Plant Design to the KSA conditions and requirements and minimize risks associated with the Contractual approach.
Component 2: Small Module Reactor (SMR)
SMR offer a potentially attractive nuclear energy option for process heat application in addition to electrical power generation, based on its inherent, passive safety features. Saudi Arabia currently uses a significant amount of fossil fuel for process heat applications such as water desalination, refineries and petrochemical plants besides generating electricity. SMR contains high-temperature gas-cooled reactors (HTGR) and small integrated nuclear reactors (SMART) to support the production of electricity and desalination in addition to multi-purpose applications including power generation, heat generation in the petrochemical industry, oil refining, mining and seawater desalination. Therefore, SMRs has a great potential to be part of the future energy mix.
Component 3: Nuclear Fuel Cycle
Uranium is one of the important element in Peaceful uses of nuclear energy of the Saudi National Atomic Energy Project as a Nuclear fuel used for energy production and water desalination. Saudi Arabia has Uranium resources that can be used to produce nuclear fuel for future National power reactors and for uranium international market.
Component 4: Regulator
Establishing a Legislative and Regulatory framework for atomic energy and radiation sources to ensure the highest levels of safety that aims to protect individuals, society and environment from the undue harms of ionizing radiation and radiological activities in Saudi Arabia.