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Potential areas for nuclear power plants siting in Saudi Arabia: GIS-based multi-criteria decision making analysis

Damoom, Mohammed M. and Hashim, Suhairul and Aljohani, Mohammed S. and Saleh, Muneer Aziz and Xoubi, Ned (2019) Potential areas for nuclear power plants siting in Saudi Arabia: GIS-based multi-criteria decision making analysis. Progress in Nuclear Energy, 110 . pp. 110-120. ISSN 0149-1970

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pnucene.2018.09.018


This paper reports the identification modus operandi (in Phase-I) of prospective sites to situate nuclear power plants (NPPs) in Saudi Arabia. Currently, the nation has taken a strategic imitative to introduce nuclear power to resolve future energy crises. Potential areas for installing these NPPs were determined via geographical information system (GIS)-based multi-criteria decision making approach. Nine significant criteria were applied to screen out unsuitable areas for such NPPs construction. Results revealed that scarcity of water in Saudi Arabia was the major reason to discard 96% of the possible sites. Furthermore, the overlaying process of all these criteria could dispose of nearly 98% of the contiguous Saudi lands. The remaining 2% land area was discerned to be suitable for positioning NPPs, which amounts to an area coverage of 21473 km2 and 13395 km2 on the western and eastern coast, respectively. The dominant siting issues on the western coast were related to the geological features (slope, fault, and flood), while the population concern could overweigh the others on the eastern coast. Meanwhile, the survey revealed that the sea-level rise sensitivity must be considered on the eastern coast for the safe operation of NPPs. Further analyses disclosed that sea-level rise of about 2 m could reduce the possible land areas by 20% and 13% in the eastern and western coast correspondingly. The net feasible areas were inversely proportional to the aggregation of suitable lands into specific NPP footprint. It was established that the proposed assemblage strategy could reduce the net effective area on the western coast for siting the NPPs such as SMR350 (small reactor), AP1000 (moderate reactor) and EPR1600 (large reactor) by almost 22%, 37%, and 47%, respectively. Present findings may constitute a basis for future development in selecting particular sites for NPP installation in Saudi Arabia.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:Binary map, Saudi Arabia
Subjects:Q Science > QC Physics
ID Code:88466
Deposited By: Widya Wahid
Deposited On:15 Dec 2020 08:06
Last Modified:15 Dec 2020 08:06

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