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KEPCO to Ditch Equipment From N. Korea Reactor Project

Posted September. 09, 2008 03:28,   


The (South) Korea Electric Power Corp., or KEPCO, will ditch equipment that it took over in exchange for assuming the costs to clear up the light-water reactor project in North Korea.

According to an internal report on ending the Korea Peninsula Energy Development Organization project and handling the equipment obtained by ruling Grand National Party lawmaker Kim Jeong-hun, KEPCO signed a contract with the organization to handle clearing costs in exchange for taking over critical equipment worth 830 million U.S. dollars after the project was ended in May 2006.

KEPCO, however, said it will abandon the equipment due to mounting storage costs.

The report written in July last year said, “It is difficult to export the nuclear equipment and the turbine generator because the technology is outdated and they are unfit for new nuclear plants. It is more economical to abandon the equipment but given the possibility of resuming the light-water reactor project, the equipment will be kept until 2010."

"If the project is not resumed, the equipment will be abandoned.”

Kim said KEPCO spent 11.4 billion won last year to store the equipment and has used six billion won to store it this year. The cost will rise to 50 billion won if the equipment is kept through 2010.

KEPCO also paid 26.6 billion won to suppliers that demanded compensation to end the project, and must pay an additional 11.4 billion won.

Kim said KEPCO, the main contractor of the reactor project, was forced to take over the equipment by the previous Roh Moo-hyun administration and ended up with the clearing-up costs.

In 2006, the Unification Ministry in Seoul said in a news release, “Since KEPCO will use the equipment without making a loss, the government and the people will not pay additional costs.”

“The pro-North Korea policies of former left-wing governments have forced the state-owned corporation, which is maintained by public electricity bills, to bear a huge burden,” Kim said. “KEPCO must find ways to reduce the public’s burden as soon as possible after clearly calculating the benefits and losses.”