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Saudi to build 16 nuclear reactors by 2030

Saudi Arabia will build 16 civilian nuclear reactors over the next 20 years at a cost of more than US$300 billion.

Abdul Ghani bin Melaibari, coordinator of scientific collaboration at King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy, said the Kingdom was in the planning stages for the nuclear project and coordination with specialised companies was currently under way with an international bidding system being looked at.

Each reactor may cost around US$7 billion, Melaibari stated.

"After 10 years we will have the first two reactors. After that, every year we will establish two, until we have 16 of them by 2030," Melaibari was quoted as saying by Arab News.

Melaibari said the nuclear reactors would cover about 20 per cent of the Kingdom's needs for electricity, adding that the Kingdom would launch a 20-year plan this year to introduce renewable clean energy.

In February, Saudi signed a cooperation agreement with France on peaceful nuclear energy development to help meet rising demand, having inked a similar deal with the United States in 2008.