Saudi Arabia’s nuclear reactor construction raises concerns in Middle East

Saudi Arabia's rush to complete its first nuclear reactor on the outskirts of Riyadh is raising concerns about Saudi Arabia's wish to become a nuclear giant in an unstable region.

The nuclear reactor will come online in 2020. Saudi Arabia is planning to use nuclear power to meet its domestic energy demand, according to Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman. This is possible as Saudi Arabia has domestic uranium deposit. 9 areas are currently being exploited. But the existence of a nuclear power program is enough to spark tensions in the region, because it could be the first step toward nuclearizing Saudi Arabia's medium-range ballistic missiles. The possibility of manufacturing weapons from the uranium enrichment technology used for its nuclear reactors has been flashpoint of the Iranian nuclear issue for a long time.

Source: VOV5