“Why does a country rich in oil reserves need to rely on atomic power plants?”
All consideration of nuclear weapons programs set aside, because it makes more sense to sell the oil to foreign customers at prices that are bound to go way above over 100$ a barrel than to burn it in old, inefficient oil-powered power plants just to get electricity. It’s like producing top-of-the-line Champagne. Would you rather drink your production, or sell it at high prices and drink something cheaper ?
That’s good business. We mined anthracite back in the old town, but used bituminous in our furnaces. Anthracite was sold as it was valuable. Bituminous was cheap and adequate even if the old town was black with soot.