President Park departs for UAE to celebrate installation of Korean-built nuclear reactorUpdated: 2014-05-20 10:04:05 (KST)
Despite criticism about the timing of the trip, President Park is squeezing in a short two-day visit to the United Arab Emirates starting Monday.
It goes to show just how important she and the government regard the joint project in the Arab country.
A 14-hundred, megawatt light-water reactor, built with Korean technology, will be installed in Barakah -- west of Abu Dhabi.
And President Park will attend a ceremony celebrating the installation of the reactor, which is part of an estimated 40-billion dollar bid Korea won in 2009.
The deal includes the construction of four nuclear units in the region by the year 2020.
Approximately 16-hundred Korean workers are currently at the construction site in Barakah.
Depending on the progress, Korea is said to be receiving up to nearly 300 million dollars per month from the UAE.
The first nuclear unit is not expected to be completed until 2017 but Korean government officials are hoping President Park's visit this week will demonstrate the nation's strong commitment to the project, and send a message to other countries that may be considering similar deals with Korea.
Saudi Arabia, for example, is looking to generate up to 20 percent of its electricity needs through nuclear energy by 2030.
It plans to do so by building a total of 16 nuclear units by the year 2032, with a goal of having the first reactor online in seven years' time.
Vietnam is also looking for a contractor for building nuclear power plants.
And with winners of both bids expected to be decided by the end of this year, the state-run Korean Electric Power Corporation is pulling out all the stops to make sure the deals are brought to Seoul.
Laah Hyun-kyung, Arirang News.
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Nuclear energy is Juche. (주 체)