Saudi Arabia, Hungary agree to cooperation

20 October 2015

A bilateral cooperation agreement on the peaceful uses of nuclear energy has been signed between the governments of Saudi Arabia and Hungary.

Hungary-Saudi Arabia - October 2015 - 460 (KA-CARE)
Seszták and Yamani sign the agreement (Image: KA-CARE)

The agreement was signed on 19 October in Riyadh by Hashim Abdullah Yamani, president of Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy (KA-CARE), and Hungarian minister of national development Miklós Seszták.

The agreement follows a 2012 accord on cooperation in various fields, including the design, construction and operation of commercial nuclear power plants and research reactors. The agreement also covers cooperation in nuclear security, safety, emergency preparedness and response, as well as radioactive waste management. In addition, the countries are to cooperate in the use of nuclear technologies in medicine, industry and agriculture, and in the training and development of human resources.

In a statement, KA-CARE said the latest agreement "sets a legal framework targeted at boosting scientific, technological and economic development between the two countries".

Following the signing, Yamani said the agreement with Hungary "will surely further the Kingdom's steps to proceed with its efforts to deeply establish and upgrade the development process to generate a mix of varied and sustainable resources of atomic and renewable energy".

He added, "The overall objective of the Kingdom is to diversify its investment basket in energy, while our domestic demand for energy is on the rise. The annual increase in domestic demand for energy ranges now between 6% and 8%. Forecasts indicate that the Kingdom will have to increase its generated power by 80 GWe by 2040."

Yamani noted that with Saudi Arabia's energy demand tripling over the next decade "it is of paramount importance for the Kingdom to utilize, in a safe, sustainable and clean manner, the technology of atomic and renewable energy".

Although Saudi Arabia's nuclear program is in its infancy, the Kingdom has plans to construct 16 nuclear power reactors over the next 20 years. A 2010 royal decree identified nuclear power as essential to help meet growing energy demand for both electricity generation and water desalination, while reducing reliance on depleting hydrocarbon resources.

Saudi Arabia has signed similar nuclear cooperation agreements with Argentina, China, Finland, France, Russia and South Korea.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News