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Self-sufficiency in Nuke Technology Sought by 2012

Posted December. 29, 2009 00:45,   


The Korean government will take follow-up steps in the wake of securing a deal worth 40 billion U.S. dollars to build and run four nuclear reactors in the United Arab Emirates.

The Knowledge Economy Ministry in Seoul said yesterday, “To successfully build the UAE nuclear power plants and prepare the full-fledged export of Korean nuclear technology, we will devise follow-up measures including technological independence, acquisition and cultivation of professionals in nuclear reactor technology, and preparation of a plan on assisting the export of nuclear reactors. They will be announced next month.”

The government plans to develop technologies that have yet to be fully developed domestically, including the design of nuclear reactor code, and secure independence in the field by 2012.

Demand for nuclear reactor specialists is expected to surge in the coming years, so public programs will be improved for cultivation of scientists and engineers, including nuclear engineering departments at universities. State-run companies related to nuclear plants will also get more staff.

The hiring of retired professionals with experience in building nuclear power plants is also being considered.

Buoyed by its successful bid in the UAE, Korea is reportedly negotiating the export of nuclear reactors to Turkey worth up to 20 billion dollars.

A senior Korean diplomatic official said, “The export of nuclear power plants to the UAE has laid the foundation for Korea to export them to emerging nuclear energy markets in the Middle East,” adding, “Korea will seek to advance into the Turkish market for nuclear power plants around the first half of next year.”

A ranking Knowledge Economy Ministry official said, “Turkey is planning to place a tender for the construction of two 1,400 megawatt-class nuclear power plants,” adding, “Having reviewed the competitive bid in the UAE, Turkey is also reviewing whether to hold a competitive bid. Hence, it is premature to predict whether our bid will be successful.”

Additionally, Korea will export a 1,000 megawatt-class nuclear reactor for power generation to Jordan. A senior official will reportedly go to the Middle Eastern country around mid-January to hold negotiations.

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