Posted February. 13, 2005 23:08,
Korea and the United States are launching a joint project in developing a new kind atomic fuel that cannot be used for making nuclear weapons.
The Ministry of Science and Technology announced on Feb 13 that it recently signed a fifth revised version of a supplement to the Korea-U.S. Nuclear Research Cooperation Agreement, which stated that Korea and the United States are to develop a new type of atomic fuel in order to prevent the extraction of nuclear weapons ingredients such as plutonium from leftover fuel in atomic power plants.
A ministry official said, Atomic fuel from previous heavy-water/light-water reactors has been a huge obstacle to the non-proliferation policy because it can easily be used to develop nuclear weapons, and added, We are planning to develop the technology to prevent the extraction of plutonium; for example, adding mass amounts of foreign matter such as metal into the atomic fuel or recycling used fuel directly after use at the plant.
The revised proposal states as its primary goal cooperation between Korea and the U.S. in developing a Fourth Generation Atomic System that will be commercialized around 2030. This system is a next-generation atomic reactor that is sustainable, safe, reliable, economic, and resistant to nuclear proliferation, complementing the weaknesses of current heavy-water or light-water reactors.