The Saudi Arabian cabinet has approved plans to build 16 nuclear reactors during the next 20 years. The new reactors will provide affordable, emissions-free power for approximately 10% of the Saudi electrical grid.
Oil currently powers more than 60% of Saudi electricity generation, with natural gas powering most of the remainder. The United States and other western democracies abandoned oil as an electricity source several decades ago due to its severe environmental impacts and lack of economic advantages over coal and, increasingly, natural gas.
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The transformation of 10% of Saudi electrical generation from oil to nuclear power will provide substantial clean air and greenhouse gas benefits. Saudi Arabia ranks in the top 10 among nations emitting the most carbon dioxide.
The Saudi government has pledged full transparency to relieve any fears of utilizing its nuclear power plants to launch a nuclear weapons program.