When the home of big oil confirms a nuclear program that will construct 16 new reactors by 2030 it should tell you a lot about prospects for nuclear energy and the growth in demand for uranium.
The announcement confirming the program was made by Abdul Ghani bin Melaibari, coordinator of scientific collaboration at King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy. He estimated that the first two reactors will be ready within 10 years and that the full program is expected to cost $100 billion.
“After 10 years we will have the first two reactors. After that, every year we will establish two, until we have 16 by 2030. We would like to cover 20 percent of electricity needs using nuclear energy.”
Now this is a country with a GDP of $622 billion and a population of 28.08 million. They have massive reserves of oil and can afford to implement almost any form of energy generation they wish. Cost, environment and security – those are the three key issues that pervade the energy debate of just about any nation and it’s telling that the home of big oil is going nuclear.
They are not the only major oil-producing country to be heading in this direction. Just four years ago the UAE awarded a contract worth more than $20 Billion to a South Korean consortium to build the countries first four reactors. It’s clear that these countries understand the benefits of nuclear energy over the long term and will join the other 47 countries that have operating reactors or active plans to construct nuclear power plants.
Ted O’Connor, Azincourt Uranium CEO