UN nuclear watchdog, China helping Saudi Arabia develop uranium

According to a report on Tuesday, the International Atomic Energy Agency is working with a Chinese-linked institute to find and develop uranium for Saudi Arabia, although inspectors of the United Nations Department of Atomic Monitoring are not allowed.

Bloomberg News reported that the IAEA published a document showing that it was helping the state make nuclear fuel.

At the same time, Chinese geologists are working with their counterparts in Saudi Arabia to locate uranium reserves in the northwest of the country and a promising location in front of Saudi’s deputy minister for mining affairs late last year Were presented. The report said, Beijing Research Institute of Uranium Geology.

The institute has a cooperation agreement with the IAEA, Bloomberg reported.

“It is very important that the agency exists and intends to carry out any activity related to the nuclear fuel cycle,” said IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi.

Saudi Arabia has said it wants to develop uranium for peaceful use, but Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has said it will develop nukes if regional rival Iran does.

Grossi also said that the Vienna-based agency has given limited information to the Saudis about making fuels from uranium and is negotiating with Saudi authorities to allow inspectors to monitor how the fuel is produced and used. goes.

Grossi said the agency is considering rolling back those rules if it can determine that nuclear development is for peaceful purposes.

“I’m contacting them, telling them it’s not enough in 2020,” Grossi said. “We have to live up to a minimum standard.”

Saudi Arabia, which is coming close to completing construction of its first reactor, is one of 31 countries that falls under the old IAEA rules that prohibit inspectors.

The Institute of Geology referred follow-up questions from Bloomberg to China National Nuclear Corp.


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