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The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

The danger of a nuclear Saudi Arabia

The risks of a nuclear Saudi Arabia April 7, 2014 by Nick Butler”……….The issue is set out in an excellent new paper for the Belfer Center at Harvard by Olli Heinonen and Simon Henderson. The Saudis’ explanation of their newfound interest in nuclear technology is that they want to use it to produce electric power and to converse oil supplies which can be exported. There is a core of truth in this of course – Saudi Arabia’s domestic oil consumption is rising inexorably and is now more than 3m barrels a day. But, of course, this is exactly the argument used by Iran for its own nuclear research.

Heinonen and Henderson believe the Saudis are preparing the way and giving themselves the option of being able to move beyond civil nuclear power to the point where they could within a matter of months produce some form of weapon. The country undoubtedly has the money to buy whatever is needed and they have close and dangerous allies within Pakistan, a country which is already a nuclear state. Scrutiny by the International Atomic Energy Agency is minimal (bizarrely the organisation spends more money monitoring Jordan) and the Saudis could go a long way down the path to nuclear capability without it becoming obvious until very late in the day.

The prospect of nuclear weapons in the hands of the fragile government of Saudi Arabia is bad enough. The country is fundamentally unstable – held together only by force and by the flow of oil money to an ever growing number of citizens who high expectations and low productivity. But equally concerning is that any further conflict in the region – even at a level below the nuclear threshold – could shake the global energy economy to its foundations……..” http://blogs.ft.com/nick-butler/2014/04/07/the-risks-of-a-nuclear-saudi-arabia/

April 16, 2014 Posted by | Saudi Arabia, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Israel developing a new super computer worm against Iran’s nukes?

computer-spy-nukeSaudis, Israelis developing new ‘super Stuxnet’ against Iran nuclear program’ Rt.com, 2 Dec 13  Saudi Arabia and Israel’s Mossad intelligence division are co-conspiring to produce a computer worm “more destructive” than the Stuxnet malware to sabotage Iran’s nuclear program, according to a report from the semi-official Iranian Fars news agency.

“Saudi spy chief Prince Bandar bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and director of Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency Tamir Bardo sent their representatives to a meeting in Vienna on November 24 to increase the two sides’ cooperation in intelligence and sabotage operations against Iran’s nuclear program,” an anonymous source close to the Saudi secret services told Fars over the weekend.

The source noted that one of the major methods discussed was “the production of a malware worse than…Stuxnet.”

Stuxnet, a computer worm discovered in 2010, formed the basis of a cyberattack that sabotaged Iran’s uranium enrichment program. Its complexity prompted researchers to claim that it could only have been developed by a nation state.

It was generally believed to have been developed by the US and Israel, with former NSA contractor and whistleblower Edward Snowden only confirming their covert roles in an interview this July.

The intention behind the development of the new malware would be “to spy on and destroy the software structure of Iran’s nuclear program.” The source expressed a desire to remain anonymous on account of the sensitivity of information being shared.   The plan would need a great deal of time and funding, with a rough figure of US $1 million being given as an estimate. It was apparently welcomed by Saudi Arabia with open arms……http://rt.com/news/stuxnet-iran-nuclear-mossad-565/

December 3, 2013 Posted by | Iran, Israel, Saudi Arabia, secrets,lies and civil liberties | Leave a comment

Dubious claims about Pakistan sending nuclear weapons to Saudi Arabia

Does Pakistan have nuclear weapons ready to ship to Saudi Arabia? A new BBC report says they are packed and ready to go osted by  Friday 8 November 2013 theguardian.comIt has long been rumoured, and often reported, that in return for bankrolling the Pakistani nuclear weapons project, Saudi Arabia has a claim on some of those weapons in time of need. It has never been proved though, nor has it ever been clear how such a deal would work. Continue reading

November 8, 2013 Posted by | Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, weapons and war | 1 Comment

Saudi Arabia set to become – well – the Saudi Arabia of Solar Energy

sunSaudi Arabia Pushes Renewable Energy Programs, Wants to Become Solar-Powered Efficient and Capable by 2032  http://au.ibtimes.com/articles/486391/20130704/saudi-arabia-renewable-energy-solar-power.htm#.UdiSeztwo6I  By Esther Tanquintic-Misa | July 4, 2013  

Saudi Arabia has started to aggressively push forward its renewable energy programmes by installing 70 stations across the oil-rich nation that will measure the potential for energy production from sun, wind and geothermal sources. The kingdom targets to become solar-powered efficient and capable by 2032.

Ten of these stations have been put up. They will collect all weather and air data to show renewable energy sources in all parts of the kingdom. Researchers will then be able to access the data through a Web site, relaying information such as solar radiation and wind speed. Essentially, the findings will provide potential investors with guidance on where to build renewable-energy related plants. Saudi Arabia wants to attract about $109 billion to be able to create a solar industry that will help give off one-third of its electricity requirements by 2032, or about 41,000 megawatts.

Saudi Arabia targets to install 23.9 GW of renewable power capacity by 2020 and then 54.1 GW by 2032.Incidentally, countries in the Gulf region are turning more their focus toward clean renewable sources of energy for their power generation. Collectively, they target solar energy one of the region’s main sources of energy by 2017.

Apart from Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Kuwait have started aggressive planning towards renewable energy programs. Qatar targets to source 10 per cent of the electricity and energy used in water desalination from solar energy by 2018, while Kuwait wants to obtain 10 per cent of its power requirements from renewable energy sources by 2020.

Overall, some $155 billion worth solar power installation projects are in the pipeline for the entire Gulf region. These projects can give off more than 84 GW of power.

July 6, 2013 Posted by | renewable, Saudi Arabia | Leave a comment

Saudi Arabia and the nuclear bomb

Clear or nuclear: Will Saudi Arabia get the bomb? Arabiya,  Dr. Naser al-Tamimi 21 May 2013 “…..Despite Riyadh’s long-held advocacy of making the Middle East a zone free of weapons of mass destruction, there has been much speculation in the past few years about the possibility of its acquiring, or developing, nuclear weapons should Tehran obtain the bomb.

In the words of Saudi King Abdullah: “If Iran developed nuclear weapons (…) everyone in the region would do the same,” a sentiment echoed by Prince Turki al-Faisal, former head of Saudi Arabia’s General Intelligence Directorate.

Why go nuclear?

A major deterioration in U.S.-Saudi relations – especially if Washington fails to stop Tehran’s nuclear program or decides to scale back its military presence in the Middle East due to its recent energy discoveries and/or fiscal constraints – could force Riyadh to reconsider nuclear weapon acquisition to avoid having to face foreign aggression without U.S. security assurances…… A third factor in the Saudi calculus is Israel’s nuclear and ballistic missile capabilities. Given Israel’s status as an assumed, but undeclared, nuclear weapons state, the most immediate consequence of Tehran’s crossing the nuclear threshold would be the possibility that Tel Aviv ends the ambiguity about its program and announces that it has nuclear weapons as a form of deterrence against Iran. This in turn will increase the pressure on Riyadh to acquire its own deterrent vis-à-vis Israel as well as Iran……

There have been suggestions that, rather than develop an indigenous nuclear program, Saudi Arabia would simply seek to buy nuclear warheads from Pakistan or China. ….
There have, however, been clear signs recently of the Saudis’ intent to enter the nuclear arena. In June 2010, the kingdom commissioned Finnish management consultancy Poyry to offer a strategy for nuclear and renewable energy use, and to study the economic and technical feasibility of becoming involved in all aspects of the nuclear power chain, including uranium enrichment……..
the kingdom will work in two parallel routes, strengthening its military, particularly the air force and navy, while aggressively seeking to buy the civil nuclear technology that could in the future provide the technical capacity and human resources for dealing with nuclear weapons…. http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2013/05/21/Will-Riyadh-get-the-bomb-.html

May 22, 2013 Posted by | Saudi Arabia, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Saudi Arabia to spend $109 billion on renewable energy projects

Saudi Arabia To Add 50GW Of Renewables By 2030 http://www.energymatters.com.au/index.php?main_page=news_article&article_id=3693  17 April 13 Saudi Arabia plans to spend $109 billion on renewable energy projects over the next 20 years, installing more solar and wind power capacity than the rest of the world to date. Continue reading

April 18, 2013 Posted by | renewable, Saudi Arabia | 2 Comments

Saudi Arabia, Qatar to become, well, the Saudi Arabia of solar power

solar-concentratedGulf riches could supercharge concentrated solar, REneweconomy,  By Giles Parkinson   10 December 2012 The concentrated solar power (CSP) sector is expected to finally spring to life – and begin its long-awaited journey down the cost curve – as the oil and gas-rich Gulf nations deploy their massive sovereign wealth in solar technologies.

At the climate change talks in Doha, both Saudi Arabia and the host country Qatar reinforced their intentions to invest tens of billions of dollars into large-scale CSP – which includes solar thermal and concentrated solar PV technologies. The biggest oil and gas exporters in the world want to become, well, the Saudi Arabia and Qatar of the solar industry too. Continue reading

December 10, 2012 Posted by | MIDDLE EAST, renewable, Saudi Arabia | Leave a comment

Mecca to become a Mecca for Solar Energy

Mecca Seeks to Lead Saudi Arabia’s Solar Energy Expansion, Bloomberg News
By Wael Mahdi  September 23, 2012 Mecca, which hosts millions of pilgrims a year visiting Islam’s most holy shrine, is working toward becoming the first city in Saudi Arabia
to operate a utility-scale plant generating electricity from renewables. Continue reading

September 24, 2012 Posted by | renewable, Saudi Arabia | Leave a comment

Saudi Arabia to go solar energy in a big way

Kingdom eyes 40 GW solar energy by 2032 Saudi Gazette, August 16, 2012  JEDDAH – Saudi Arabia has set an ambitious target of installing more than 40 GW of solar power capacity by 2032, of which 60 percent would be from concentrated solar power (CSP) and remaining from photovoltaics (PV). Continue reading

August 17, 2012 Posted by | renewable, Saudi Arabia | Leave a comment

Saudi Arabia heading towards nuclear weaponry

VIDEO  Saudi Arabia To Purchase Nuclear Inquisitr.com 22 July 12An unintended consequence of Iran’s march towards a nuclear weapon was that the other big boys in the block would feel the need to arm also.  Military sources are reporting to Israeli intelligence website Debka  that Saudi Arabia has begun its journey on the way to a nuclear weapon’s capability.

The Saudi’s are currently in Beijing negotiating to purchase Chinese nuclear capable ballistic missiles…… Saudi Arabia has been poised for action against Iran since the European Union agreed to an oil embargo against Iran.  Iran has promised that in the face of aggression it will hit Saudi and other gulf countries oil shipping routes and even move to close the vital Straights of Hormmuz.  The United States has moved the Fifth Fleet into the gulf in order to
protect the shipping routes…  http://www.inquisitr.com/282628/saudi-arabia-to-purchase-nuclear-capable-missiles-from-china-video/#F6OJqHwIVkhstRAs.99

July 23, 2012 Posted by | Saudi Arabia, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Saudi Arabia’s $109 billion solar energy plan

Saudi Arabia Plans $109 Billion Boost for Solar Power Bloomberg, By Wael Mahdi and Marc Roca – May 10, 2012  Saudi Arabia  is seeking investors for a $109 billion plan to create a solar industry that generates a third of the nation’s electricity by 2032, according to officials at the agency developing the plan….

“We are not only looking for building solar plants,” al- Odan said in an interview in Riyadh yesterday. “We want to run a sustainable solar energy sector that will become a driver for the domestic energy for years to come.”…

May 11, 2012 Posted by | renewable, Saudi Arabia | Leave a comment

Is a Saudi Arabian nuclear bomb a bigger danger than Iran’s?

Unsurprisingly, many US politicians are extremely worried about a Saudi bomb. As in the case of Pakistan, Saudi Arabia had what one might call ‘fluid’ ties to Islamist terrorists.

Never mind Iran, is Saudi Arabia about to acquire a nuclear bomb? Mail Online, By MICHAEL BURLEIGH, 24th February 2012 Both Saudi Arabia and the Gulf Cooperation Council maintain that they want a WMD-free Middle East. However, key members of the Saudi royal elite have recently signalled that if Iran develops a nuclear weapon, then Saudi Arabia will get one too.
Speaking of signalling, they have also long indicated that if Israel were to overfly the desert kingdom to bomb Iranian nuclear sites, they would temporarily turn their radars off.
Saudi Arabia has signed nuclear technology agreements with several
states: China, France, Argentina and South Korea, Continue reading

February 25, 2012 Posted by | Saudi Arabia, weapons and war | 1 Comment

Middle East- a nuclear weapon-free zone or allout nuclear arms race?

AP Interview: Saudi warns of Mideast nuclear race, Google News, By EDITH M. LEDERER, Associated Press  26 Jan 12, DAVOS, Switzerland (AP) — An influential member of the Saudi royal family warned Wednesday that unless the Middle East becomes a nuclear weapon-free zone, a nuclear arms race is inevitable and could include his own country, Iraq, Egypt and even Turkey.
Prince Turki Al Faisal said the five permanent U.N. Security Council members should guarantee a nuclear security umbrella for Mideast countries that join a nuclear-free zone — and impose “military sanctions” against countries seen to be developing nuclear weapons. “I think that’s a better way of going at this issue of nuclear enrichment of uranium, or preventing Iran from acquiring weapons of mass destruction,” the former Saudi intelligence chief and ambassador Continue reading

January 26, 2012 Posted by | Saudi Arabia, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Cruel, intolerant, culturally backward, violent Saudi Arabia to get nuclear weapons?

Religious pilgrimage turns into nightmare The Age Maris Beck and Daniel Flitton December 8, 2011 ” ….. Mansor Almaribe, a father of five, who was last month charged with blasphemy while on a pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia, has been sentenced to a year in prison and 500 lashes. The Shepparton family said it was a death sentence. Mr Almaribe has diabetes, heart disease and was almost crippled in a 2004 car accident that broke his back in five places. “He won’t make 50 lashes,” son Mohammad, 16, told The Age….

..Mr Almaribe, a Shiite Muslim who was travelling in the majority Sunni kingdom, was found guilty of cursing two companions of the prophet Mohammed aloud in a public place…. a radical had reported Mr Almaribe to police after recognising him as Shiite from the green turban he wore. “He was just praying and reading the Koran to himself in an area known to be frequented by Shiites.”… http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/religious-pilgrimage-turns-into-nightmare-20111207-1ojbc.html#ixzz1g0DiYVsM

Prince Hints Saudi Arabia May Join Nuclear Arms RaceNYT, December 6, 2011 DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — A Saudi prince, in a remark designed to send chills through the Obama administration and its allies, suggested that the kingdom might consider producing nuclear weapons if it found itself between atomic arsenals in Iran and Israel. The prince, Turki al-Faisal, who has served as the Saudi intelligence chief and as ambassador to the United States, made the comment on Monday at a Persian Gulf security forum in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The remark confirmed Western fears about the potential for an arms race in the Middle East if Iran moves to produce a nuclear weapon…..

Prince Turki said at the forum on Monday that an Iranian quest for nuclear weapons and Israel’s presumed nuclear arsenal might force Saudi Arabia to follow suit. Most defense analysts believe that Israel has nuclear weapons, but it has refused to confirm or deny their existence.

“It is our duty toward our nation and people to consider all possible options, including the possession of these weapons,” Prince Turki was quoted as saying…http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/07/world/middleeast/saudi-arabia-may-seek-nuclear-weapons-prince-says.html

December 8, 2011 Posted by | Saudi Arabia, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Wikileaks reveal Saudi Arabia’s fears about Iran’s nuclear plant

Plumbing WikiLeaks: Saudi Arabia Fears Iranian Nuclear Meltdown and Potential Terrorism to Desalination, Circle of Blue, By Brett Walton, 28 OCTOBER 2011  Classified cables show that Saudi and U.S. officials believe water supplies along the Persian Gulf are at high-risk for terrorist attacks and possible contamination from nearby nuclear plants. This is the first of a new series that will analyze the water-related U.S. embassy cables published by WikiLeaks.

“The location is so dangerous,” said Prince Turki Al-Kabeer, the undersecretary for multilateral affairs from the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs. “Not just to us, but to the world economy!”

Ostensibly, Prince Turki was meeting with the Netherlands ambassador, the Russian ambassador, and a political/military counselor from the American embassy to discuss an initiative against nuclear terrorism. But — according to a classified American embassy cable from 2009 that has since been published by WikiLeaks — the conversation turned to Iran’s nuclear program and the Russian-built reactor at Bushehr, a site less than 300 kilometers (186 miles) from Saudi shores on Iran’s Persian Gulf coast.

Prince Turki went on to say that Russia should “use its influence” to persuade Iran to relocate the reactor to the Caspian Sea, where there would be sufficient water for cooling, and, the cable’s author makes clear, isolation from Saudi territory, if a nuclear accident were to occur.

At risk, according to both Saudi and U.S. officials, are the desalination plants supplying much of Saudi Arabia’s drinking water, and the Persian Gulf waterway that conveys a large portion of the world’s oil exports — 6.6 million barrels per day… http://www.circleofblue.org/waternews/2011/world/plumbing-wikileaks-saudi-arabia-fears-iranian-nuclear-meltdown-and-potential-terrorism-to-desalination/

October 29, 2011 Posted by | politics international, Saudi Arabia, water | Leave a comment

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