Next month, Saudi Arabia will announce the finalists of a sweepstakes. The prize? Multibillion-dollar contracts to build a pair of nuclear power reactors in desolate stretches of desert along the Persian Gulf.

For Saudi Arabia’s crown prince Mohammed bin Salman, the reactors are a matter of international prestige and power, a step toward matching the nuclear program of Shia rival Iran while quenching some of the kingdom’s domestic thirst for energy. Continue reading.