Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Yukiya Amano, speaks during the Nuclear Power in the 21st Century International Ministerial conference in Abu Dhabi on October 30, 2017. / AFP / NEZAR BALOUT
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Saudi Arabia plans to extract uranium domestically as part of its peaceful nuclear power program and sees this as a step toward "self-sufficiency" in producing atomic fuel, a senior official said Monday.This issue has been at the heart of Western and regional concerns about the nuclear work of Iran, Saudi Arabia's foe, and led to the 2015 deal in which Iran agreed to freeze the program for 15 years for sanctions relief.Both the UAE and neighboring Saudi Arabia remain highly suspicious of the nuclear deal, which saw economic sanctions on Iran lifted in exchange for it limiting its enrichment of uranium.Saudi Arabia is considering building some 17.6 gigawatts of nuclear capacity by 2032, the equivalent of about 17 reactors, making it one of the strongest prospects for an industry struggling after the 2011 nuclear disaster in Japan.
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