A decision by South Korea’s new president to scrap plans for more domestic nuclear power plants will make it harder for the country to sell reactors to buyers overseas, experts warn. State-run Korea Electric Power Corp (KEPCO) is building the first of four nuclear plants in the United Arab Emirates in an $18.6 billion deal, and is scouting for more business in Britain and other countries. But many nuclear experts doubt South Korea’s ability to export a technology it is ditching at home after President Moon Jae-in, who took office in May, said he would scrap plans to build new domestic reactors. South Korea is the world’s fifth-biggest user of nuclear energy and KEPCO, which has built more than 20 reactors at home, vies with the likes of France’s EDF and Toshiba’s Westinghouse unit in the niche but fiercely competitive nuclear export market. KEPCO’s international nuclear project team is working to keep its export business alive. “We are focussing on the UK market, but also on Saudi Arabia, South Africa and Iran,” said Jong-hyuck Park, chief nuclear officer at KEPCO at a recent industry event in London. KEPCO is also in talks with Japan’s Toshiba to buy a stake in Britain’s NuGen nuclear project, aiming to use its own reactor design. “The company (KEPCO) aims to finish the due diligence process by August or September…. and it will take more time to look into South Africa,” said a source with direct knowledge of the matter who declined to be identified as he was not authorised to speak to media. NuGen, planned for Moorside in northwest England, was thrown into doubt after Westinghouse declared bankruptcy and its partner in the project, France’s Engie, pulled out. A KEPCO spokesman said the company is awaiting government guidelines on nuclear exports.
New York Times 12th July 2017 read more »