Riyadh will have to sign an accord with Washington on the peaceful use of nuclear technology for US firms to participate in the project. A senior US official has confirmed that Washington is in talks with Riyadh about supporting Saudi Arabia’s planned nuclear programme.
In November 2018, Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah City for Atomic & Renewable Energy (KA-Care), the body overseeing the kingdom’s nuclear energy plans, appointed Australia’s WorleyParsons to the project management office consultancy role for the programme. WorleyParsons will provide consultancy services including project governance, resource management, project services, training and compliance across the full scope of the large nuclear power plant (LNPP), small modular reactors and nuclear fuel cycle.
WorleyParsons previously completed the LNPP site selection study for KA-Care. Riyadh is planning to develop nuclear power through a three-pronged strategy. The majority of the nuclear power capacity will be developed through conventional large-scale nuclear facilities, the first of which will be a two-reactor 2.8GW plant.
KA-Care announced in August last year that it had awarded a contract to France’s Assystem to carry out site characterisation studies, including geological surveys and environmental impact studies for the first planned project. The studies will allow Saudi Arabia to choose the most suitable site on which to build, as well as provide important technical details for the design of the project.