The aim of this project is to build the first nuclear research reactor (LPRR) in Saudi Arabia. This multipurpose facility will support training and human resources development, facilitate nuclear scientific research, and develop and transfer nuclear technology to the Kingdom.
KACST specialists, in collaboration with international experts, have developed the specifications of the LPRR and the design of its components that include reactor core, reactor fuel, and the control and quality assurance systems. These developed specifications adhere to the highest national and international safety standards as recommended by the International Atomic Energy Agency.
The first phase of the project was concluded by analyzing the essential requirements, and preparing the final design and engineering drawings. This includes also acquiring the necessary licenses from the nuclear regulatory entity in Saudi Arabia (Saudi Arabian Atomic Regulatory Authority of King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy) for the construction of the reactor building and manufacturing of all the nuclear components, e.g., reactor fuel and reactor pool.
To emphasize the importance of nuclear technology transfer to Saudi Arabia as part of Vision 2030, some national companies were enlisted to manufacture several of the highly-safe nuclear components, e.g., the manufacturing of the reactor pool and the preparation of high density heavy concrete used for reactor core shielding. This was achieved by inviting these companies and qualifying them to the highest requirements of the nuclear industry under direct supervision of international experts. The civil work construction of the reactor building was awarded to a local company after ensuring its ability to fulfill the highest standards applied in nuclear projects. The entire process of constructing and operating the reactor will be under direct supervision and inspection by the regulatory body of Saudi Arabia to fulfill the country’s obligations towards the international treaties and agreements concerning nuclear materials. The project culminates with the training of reactor personnel to ensure safe operation, maintenance and optimum utilization of the reactor.