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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Seoul Set to Win 1st Nuclear Deal

It looks like more countries are going into nuclear export. FYI, South Korea has a strong nuclear industry. They have 20 reactors operating (~40% of their electricity). They evenmake their own reactor vessels...


By Kim Hyun-cheol
Staff Reporter

Chances are good for South Korea to export its skills in the construction and operation of nuclear power plants for the first time in 30 years since the country began their commercial operation.

Two state-run companies, the Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) and the Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power (KHNP), said Tuesday that they are vying or planning to tender bids for nuclear power plant construction in Turkey, Romania and Morocco.

KEPCO will compete in a bid for the first nuclear plant in Mersin, Turkey, in partnership with Enka, Turkey's biggest energy company. The plant is the first of three Turkey is planning to build and operate by 2015, and the Turkish government is expected to pick the bidder this year.

The power company said it will submit a tender by September.

It is also competing with several foreign firms to win a contract for building and operating a nuclear power plant in Morocco. The electric power company, however, declined to comment on the bid details and possibilities of winning because both tenders are still being processed.

The KHNP is set to compete in another nuclear project of engineering, procurement and construction of two heavy-water reactors in Cernavoda, Romania, the establishment of which were halted in the 1980s.

The firm is currently fine-tuning the set-up of a consortium with Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL) before bidding opens in July, it said.

"Forming the consortium will benefit both of us, because the AECL owns core technologies of heavy-water reactor plants and we have top-notch operational know-how," Lee Jung-hwa, a KHNP official, said.

The AECL is the technology vendor of CANDU, a form of heavy-water reactor. It has been chosen for the Cernavoda plants, and one is operating in Wolseong, North Gyeongsang Province.

South Korea launched its first nuclear plant in Gori, in the vicinity of Busan, in 1978. Now, a total of 20 plants are in service, producing 35.4 percent of all electricity consumed nationwide.

Nuclear power projects are considered a lucrative business. Exports of two 1,000- megawatt plants create 55,000 jobs and 5 trillion won ($499.5 million) in added value.



Anonymous said...

Korea is also currently constructing reactors in their own country. They build them in clusters, so now some of those clusters are the amongst the biggest power plants in the world.

For example the site at Ulchin has 6 reactors for a total capacity of 4800 MW


rsm said...

That's true. Korea certainly is one of the world leaders in nuclear power. It is one of the lesser sung tales in the nuclear business.

[Perhaps I am a biased party having been part of the startup of the Yonggwang 3 and 4 units ;-)]