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No doubt about it; it is a historical moment for Saudi Arabia that just decided to go nuclear. A royal decree initiated the nuclear era for the Kingdom by announcing the establishment of King Abduallah Nuclear and Renewable Energy City in Riyadh. For a wealthy country that can afford the initiating stage of nuclear facilities like Saudi Arabia, such decision should not come as surprise at all. It could be even said that it’s been an awaited decision for some time now.
Such a move is a step further in many fields and on so many levels. And these are some interesting points:
- Modernizing the almost expired electricity and desalinated water infrastructure beside reducing the dependance on hydrocarbon resources.
- Meeting the increasing demands on power and water in a country that besides its huge requirements, it aspires to attract more foreign capital and creates more competitive investment environment.
- Opening a whole new market with all its needs of manpower, technology, and logistics.
- Familiarizing the country with the technology that could be later on extended to the medical field applications and scientific research requirements (it seems that because of KAUST, we are now more relaxed talking about scientific researches … and let me tell you, that feels great 🙂 )
I still remember how the nuclear engineering department in King Abdulaziz University (KAU) was not amongst the favorites by us, the engineering students, by that time. I assume that it will be among the most desired majors in the coming few years in the Kingdom and we might see more nuclear sections in both science and engineering within our universities. And that is another benefit of going nuclear.