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06 November, 2018
Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince HRH Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz has unveiled plans to build the kingdom’s first nuclear research reactor, one of several project announcements during a visit to the King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST).
As reported by the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) on 5 November 2018, the Crown Prince inaugurated and laid the founding stones for as many as seven projects during a visit to the Riyadh-based research institute.
In addition to the Saudi’s first nuclear research reactor, the Crown Prince also laid the foundation stone for a centre that will focus on developing aircraft fuselage.
Also inaugurated by the young prince during his visit was the Saudi Central Laboratory for Human Genome, which documents a map for genetics of the Saudi society in order to discover mutations that may cause hereditary diseases.
A solar energy-powered desalination station in Khafji on the Saudi-Kuwait border was also announced during his visit. In addition to this project, which will eventually have a capacity of 60,000m3 a day, a laboratory to check the credibility of solar panels will also be built in Uyaynah, located 30km northwest of Riyadh.
Construction dates or project timelines have yet to be revealed for the projects.
The news comes just weeks after a flurry of memorandums of understanding (MOUs) and agreements worth in excess of $50bn (SAR187.6bn) were signed at the kingdom’s Future Investment Initiative (FII) summit.
Described as ‘megadeals’, all were inked on day one of the massive investment conference – backed by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, which is led by the Crown Prince.
Among the high-level dignitaries that attened FII 2018 were HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai; Pakistan’s newly elected Prime Minister Imran Khan; and Jordan’s King Abdullah.