Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Nuclear Engineering


The prospects of using nuclear energy in Saudi Arabia for desalination and electric power generation represent a challenging engineering problem. Three specific issues have been considered for a dual-purpose plant, namely: (1) Impact of the availability and reliability of the desalination plants, (2) Integration of the desalination and power production stages, and, (3) Safety considerations of dual systems;The operational history data of the Jeddah desalination plants are studied, to determine the reliability of a multi-stage flash (MSF) desalination plant and of a reverse osmosis plant (RO);MSF plant performance, operation conditions, and the most common causes of deviation from plant performance standards are presented. Actual operation data from an MSF plant are analyzed. Potential problem areas and critical components are identified, and failure rates are estimated;Fault tree techniques are used for major systems in both MSF and RO plants, and a quantitative evaluation is performed using PREP-KITT computer codes to assess the probability of failure of the MSF and RO plants. The results of such studies showed that the major contributors of unavailability are pump failures, screen failures, pipe leakages, motor operated valve failures, and tube leakages. Recommendations for improving the reliability of MSF systems are given;The reliability and operational experience of the RO plant are analyzed, and the results of the RO plant availability analysis are given for four cases of operation in which failure contributors are membrane fractures, pump failures, diesel engine failures, and pipe leakages;The analysis of the operation history of both desalination plants revealed some very important factors which have been considered. The implications of dual-purpose nuclear desalination plants are discussed for technical, safety, and operational aspects of these plants. Also, the schemes of integration of nuclear steam supply systems with the MSF plant are presented. A comparison of RO and MSF processes from the point of view of reliability, safety, and compatibility with nuclear power as an energy source is presented. Finally, the overall availability of nuclear desalination plants is estimated based on actual data from operating experience.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

Ibrahim Ismail Kutbi



Proquest ID


File Format


File Size

289 pages