South Korea’s largest power company is in talks with Toshiba to prop up its plans to build Europe’s largest new nuclear plant in the UK. Jong-hyuck Park, an executive from Kepco, confirmed the group’s interest in buying a stake of the embattled Moorside nuclear project on the sidelines of an industry event, but said Kepco would want to use its own reactor design. A deal with Toshiba, the last remaining group behind the NuGeneration venture, could rescue the £10bn project. But a change in reactor design would also derail the 2025 start date by at least two years in a further blow to the UK’s new nuclear ambitions.
Telegraph 28th June 2017 read more »
A senior executive of the Korean company long-rumoured to be interested in Cumbria’s proposed nuclear new build has said the firm will be a “long-term partner” in the project. Jong-hyuck Park, the chief nuclear officer of Korea Electric Power Corporation (Kepco) confirmed the company was in discussions with Toshiba to buy into Nugen. Mr Park was also keen to stress that discussions are “at an early stage”. Rumours about Kepco becoming involved in the Moorside project started circulating last year. They gathered pace this year after Toshiba expressed “substantial doubt” about its ability to continue as a going concern because it is forecast to make a multi-billion pound loss for the last financial year. Business Secretary Greg Clark has visited South Korea in 2017 and it was reported that Kepco was one of the companies he visited on this trip. One sticking point in Kepco becoming involved in the Moorside project has been thought to be that the Westinghouse AP1000 reactor has been earmarked for use in the completed plant. Kepco uses a different technology, of its own design and manufacture. This may not pose a challenge now after NuGen announced a “strategic review” of Moorside, which has included a look into twhat technology is used in the project.
Whitehaven News 28th June 2017 read more »
Kepco, the South Korean power company, says it is closing in on a deal to rescue Moorside amd install its own reactor technology. Park Jong-hyuck, chief nuclear officer of Kepco, confirmed at a nuclear industry conference that his company was in negotiations with Toshiba about buying “some shares” in its NuGen subsidiary, which is developing the Moorside project. Kepco’s interest was called into question by the election of Moon Jae-in as South Korean president last month, because he has vowed to wind down the country’s domestic nuclear industry. Nevertheless, Mr Park made clear in his remarks to UK nuclear leaders on Wednesday that Kepco remained committed to selling its reactor technology overseas. He said Kepco intended to submit its APR1400 reactor to the UK’s Office of Nuclear Regulation for review early in 2018 – starting an approval process that typically lasts four years. This would pave the way for Korean-led construction of Moorside with an aim of generating electricity by the late 2020s.
FT 28th June 2017 read more »
South Korea’s nuclear shares took a hit from the new government’s anti-nuclear policy, a day after president Moon Jae-in decided to suspend construction of two partially built nuclear reactors. Mr Moon said on Tuesday the construction of Shin Kori No 5 and Shin Kori No 6 in Busan, the country’s second-largest port city, would be halted for three months, during which the government would seek views from the public on their future. Shares of Kepco, the state-run utility at the forefront of the country’s efforts to export nuclear reactors, fell 1.8 per cent while those of Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction, which is leading a consortium to build the two nuclear reactors, dropped 4.4 per cent. The suspension of the construction of the two reactors – wi th about one-third of construction already finished – came after Mr Moon pledged to stop building nuclear reactors, with the goal of making the county nuclear free by 2060. Kepco had been seen by industry experts as the only potential acquirer of the bankrupt US nuclear power plant builder Westinghouse because of security reasons. But experts caution the political shift on nuclear energy will probably discourage the state-run company from pursuing any attempt to buy Westinghouse. Kepco has not ruled out buying Westinghouse but said on Wednesday it was mulling how the government’s changed nuclear stance may affect its bid. Kepco is in talks to join a UK consortium called NuGen that is using Westinghouse’s technology to build a new nuclear power station in Cumbria, England. “It would be difficult for the state-run company to even raise the possibility of bidding for Westinghouse, when the government sees nuclear energy as a doomed industry,” said Suh Kyun-ryul, professor of atomic engineering at Seoul National University.
FT 28th June 2017 read more »
Korea Electric Power Corp (KEPCO) is in talks to buy a stake in Toshiba’s NuGen nuclear project in Britain, a KEPCO executive said on Wednesday, a move that could throw the troubled project a life-line but also delay its start. The South Korean firm would want to use its own nuclear reactor design for the British project, Park said, which would likely delay its start date.
Reuters 28th June 2017 read more »
A peer has urged the government to come up with new funding methods for nuclear new builds, including the county’s proposed £10bn Moorside development. Lord Hutton of Furness – a former MP for Barrow who was Defence Secretary under Tony Blair and is now chairman of trade body the Nuclear Industry Association – said it was important to look at the financial models for such projects. He made the comments at a conference on nuclear new builds, which will discuss plans for a development at Moorside, near Sellafield, tomorrow. NuGen, the company behind the west Cumbrian project, Westinghouse, which is set to supply the three AP1000 reactors it will use, and Korea Electric Power Corporation (Kepco), which have expressed an interest in buying into the scheme, are all due to give presentations at the event in London, which has been organised by the NIA. They come following the publication last week of a report into the funding of the Hinkley Point nuclear new build in Somerset by the National Audit office, which described the government’s deal for the scheme as “risky and expensive”. Hinkley Point is being built by EDF, with a stake from Chinese state-owned investor CGN.
North West Evening Mail 27th June 2017 read more »