Riyadh: – Saudi has a minimum of 90,000 tonnes of uranium deposits. This stock is enough for the nuclear power projects in Saudi; it can export the surplus stock. A leading British daily published this information from the report prepared by the Chinese geologists. The international analysts are expressing concerns that Saudi, who is locked in an arms race with Iran, can use this uranium to develop nuclear weapons. Only last month, the United States had expressed a concern that Saudi is treading the path of nuclear weapon development, with Chinese assistance.
As per the agreement signed between Saudi Arabia and China, the research for the uranium, necessary for the concerned nuclear project has been completed. This research was carried out by ‘Beijing Research Institute of Uranium Technology’ and ‘China National Nuclear Corporation’. It was already announced that Saudi has the requisite stock of Uranium. But as per the report prepared by the Saudi and Chinese geologists, there is a stock of more than 90,000 tonnes of uranium, at three locations. The biggest mine of uranium ore is found to the north of the Neom City. This is a significant development for the Saudi nuclear program and Saudi will never have to depend on any other country for supply of uranium.
It was revealed in the survey conducted in 2019, that Saudi has large deposits of uranium. Saudi had indicated exporting the remaining Uranium after retaining the required quantities. But Mark Hibbs, senior analyst at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace warned that Saudi, who has become self-sufficient in uranium, can increase its number in the fuel and implement a military program. Bruce Riddle of Brookings Institution claimed that looking at the aggressive implementation of the Saudi nuclear program, Saudi may make efforts to develop nuclear weapons using this uranium.
The British newspaper reminded that in 2018, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman had announced that if Iran became nuclear, Saudi would not lag. The newspaper claimed that Chinese cooperation could make Saudi a nuclear state. In that scenario, strong reactions may be received from the United States and Israel regarding the Saudi-China nuclear cooperation. Only last month, the United States had appealed that Saudi should implement its nuclear program within the framework of the international observers, like the United Arab Emirates. Whereas, Israel has registered its displeasure against the Saudi-China nuclear cooperation.