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News Link • Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia flags plan to enrich uranium as U.S. seeks nuclear pact

• https://www.reuters.com by Rania El Gamal, Alexand

Uranium enrichment has been a sticking point with the United States, especially after Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said in 2018 that the Sunni Muslim kingdom would develop nuclear arms if regional rival Shi'ite Muslim Iran did.

The world's top oil exporter says it wants to use nuclear power to diversify its energy mix, but enrichment also opens up the possibility of military uses of uranium.

"We are proceeding with it cautiously ... we are experimenting with two nuclear reactors," Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said, referring to a plan to issue a tender for the Gulf Arab state's first two nuclear power reactors.

Ultimately the kingdom wanted to go ahead with the full cycle of the nuclear program, including the production and enrichment of uranium for atomic fuel, he told an energy conference in Abu Dhabi.

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