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Saudi Arabia is fast-tracking an atomic energy program to reduce its dependence on oil, but concerns over nuclear proliferation in the Middle East could put a damper on its ambitious plans.Saudi Arabia, the world's largest exporter of oil, has framed its nuclear project as driven purely by economics. Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said in October that the nuclear program would start by building two reactors, each producing between 1.2 and 1.6 gigawatts of electricity.The reactors are expected to generate 17.6 gigawatts of electricity – 10 percent of the country's power needs – by 2040 .Electricity consumption is expected to double over the next 15 years, reaching 120 gigawatts by 2032, Abdullah al-Shehri, governor of Saudi Arabia's Electricity and Co-generation Regulatory Authority, told AFP.
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