Saudi could have enough uranium ore to produce own nuclear fuel
Saudi Arabia could have enough mineable uranium ore reserves to kickstart its domestic production of nuclear fuel, according to confidential reports from China that were seen by the Guardian.
The reports were prepared by Chinese geologists, who have been scrambling to help Riyadh map its uranium reserves as part of their nuclear energy cooperation agreement.
The geologists worked to identify reserves that could produce over 90,000 tonnes of uranium from three major deposits in the centre and northwest of the country.
The next step will likely be a more intensive investigation in three areas identified as high priority, to confirm reserve levels, and the economics of extracting them.
Saudi Arabia’s interest in its uranium reserves is part of its step towards “self-sufficiency” in producing clean fuel for an energy programme.
Although, according to the Guardian, this raises concerns about Riyadh’s interest in atomic weapons as the surplus could lead the kingdom to the creation of its own weapons programme. There are also concerns about the kingdom’s lack of transparency.