Nuclear Fuel Cycle Unit مشاركة |

​Nuclear Fuel Cycle is one of the main components of the Saudi National Atomic Energy Project. The Nuclear Fuel Cycle Management at K.A.CARE is the department responsible for the production of nuclear fuel for Saudi Arabia's peaceful nuclear program by indigenizing the techniques of nuclear fuel production stages, starting with the exploration and mining of uranium ores, then the conversion and enrichment stages and ending with manufacturing nuclear fuel. This department also deals with the back stage of the fuel cycle, which includes temporary storage, processing and recycling, as well as permanent geological storage of nuclear waste.​

Nuclear Fuel Cycle:

Processes of fuel cycles are classified as follows:

  • Front Nuclear fuel cycle (processes that precede the use of nuclear fuel reactor).
  • Back Nuclear fuel cycle (processes following the use of nuclear fuel reactor).

    The classification of the nuclear fuel cycle depends on the recycling processes of consumed fuel and the extraction of uranium from it before the final disposal. Nuclear fuel cycle includes a recycling process called the Closed Nuclear Fuel Cycle, and another nuclear fuel cycle that ends with the final disposal without recycling which is called the Open Nuclear Fuel Cycle.
  • Closed Nuclear Fuel Cycle:
  • Open Nuclear Fuel Cycle:



  • Develop local content for Nuclear Fuel Cycle components.
  • Optimum utilization of natural resources for fuel supply.
  • Support the local economy by investing in Nuclear Fuel Cycle components.
  • Qualifying Saudi cadres specialized in the Nuclear Fuel Cycle components.


  • Develop and propose a national nuclear fuel cycle policy and strategy and offer nuclear fuel supply security solutions.
  • Conduct studies and surveys on national reserves of natural nuclear materials.
  • Conduct feasibility studies for potential fuel cycle projects including mining, converting, enriching, and manufacturing nuclear fuel.
  • Engage in national and international partnerships to invest in nuclear material mining / supply of nuclear fuel.
  • Conduct a study of establishing national commercial entities to support and implement nuclear fuel supply services for reactors locally, regionally and internationally.
  • Technical coordination for developmental studies and research in the field of nuclear fuel cycle.
  • Preparation of training and qualifications plans for human resources in the fields of nuclear fuel cycle.
  • Build sustainable relations with stakeholders to cooperate and provide technical support in the scopes of the nuclear fuel cycle.


    Current programs of the Nuclear Fuel Cycle Component includes:
  1. Exploration of Uranium and Thorium Ores in Saudi Arabia (Stage I).
  2. Indigenization of nuclear fuel cycle in the production of uranium and the attainment of investment returns.


1.1   Exploration of Uranium and Thorium Ores in Saudi Arabia

Exploration of uranium and thorium ore is one of Saudi Arabia's strategic projects that support the objectives of Vision 2030 that would enrich local content, provide employment for citizens and contribute effectively to the private sector. As well as enhance the investment of raw materials in diversifying sources of income, building human capacity, and securing nuclear fuel for nuclear reactors.

The project aims to reach an assess with certainty of uranium and thorium ore resources (measured resources) in Saudi Arabia. It is divided into two stages:

  1.  Inferred Resource Estimation
  2.  Indicated & Measured Resource Estimation

It is worth noting that K.A.CARE leads this vital project in cooperation with the Saudi Geological Survey, where the Saudi Geological Survey supervises the exploration's contractor and mining for uranium and thorium ore in the first stage, while K.A.CARE carries out the quality application project. In the second stage, K.A.CARE is appointed to lead the entire project.





1.2 Indigenization of nuclear fuel cycle in the production of uranium and the attainment of investment returns

The project focuses on cooperation with the Jordanian side for technology transfer and training of national cadres in the exploration of uranium ores, which will enhance and increase local content in industrial and service value chains, and in the indigenization of technical expertise through the production of uranium oxide (Yellowcake) and conducting a fundable economic feasibility study. The project was approved within the framework of the National Transformation Program 2020 under the name of (the Initiative of Indigenizing the Nuclear Fuel Cycle in the Production of Uranium and Attainment of Investment Returns) by the Council of Ministers Resolution No. 362 dated 1/9/1437 AH. Then it was transferred as a component of the Saudi National Atomic Energy Project within the Royal Decree No. 43309 dated 19/9/1438 AH on the Saudi National Atomic Energy Project.


The project's objectives are:
  • Qualification of national cadres in the exploration and extraction of uranium in three stages; in the first stage: 15 trainees, in the second stage: 15 trainees, and in the third stage: 20 trainees.
  • Design the prototype of the extraction unit and conduct a study on the production of uranium oxide.
  • Report on the environmental impact of mining sites study.
  • Assess the resources and reserves of uranium ore in the central region of Jordan according to the JORC standard to confirm the economic feasibility. K.A.CARE is entitled to invest in Jordan as a strategic partner and gain implementation knowledge to benefit from in the Saudi project.​