Wednesday, March 26, 2008
RIYADH, 24 March 2008 — The Shoura Council has discussed a national plan to deal with any potential leakage of radioactive material in the Kingdom following warnings of possible attacks on Iran’s nuclear reactors.
“The plan to check radiation hazards was discussed by Shoura members, but it will be discussed and reviewed again before being tabled for voting,” a Shoura Council member said yesterday.
“The King Abdulaziz City for Science & Technology (KACST) has prepared a proposal that encapsulates the probabilities of a nuclear and radiation leak in case of any unexpected attacks,” said the Shoura member, speaking on condition of anonymity.
This concern has also been echoed several times by Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal in his meetings with regional and international leaders. “Riyadh has been of the view that the Middle East region should be void of weapons of mass destruction,” said the member, without giving details of the Saudi plan.
A KACST nuclear scientist yesterday confirmed that an emergency plan to check radioactive leaks is there in place, but refused to provide details. He said that a national strategy has been prepared by KACST’s Atomic Energy Research Institute, set up by the Kingdom in 1988.
On the regional front, the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) has also been discussing the pros and cons of Iran’s nuclear program.
Power plants in the southwestern Iranian port of Bushehr, built with German assistance in 1974 and which resumed with Russian aid in 1992, have been the focus of global attention. The Gulf region as a whole is at a serious risk of a catastrophe due to military nuclear-powered and armed ships and submarines entering Gulf waters....(Click here for remainder of article.)