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Korea faces hurdles in nuclear technology deals globally

Updated: 2014-05-20 22:53:50 (KST)
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The demand for building nuclear power plants globally has rebounded since Japan's Fukushima disaster in 2011.
The World Nuclear Association in a forecast says the market is worth 40-billion U.S. dollars a year, and will grow at around 3 percent annually by the year 2030.
Officials say President Park making a short two-day trip to the UAE despite possible public backlash for diverting her attention away from the sunken ferry disaster, demonstrates the government's determination to bring more of Korea's nuclear technology to the overseas market.
But some experts in Seoul say this will be easier said than done.


While Korea is able to build its own nuclear facilities, its technology independence level is still not up to 100 percent.


"They've been delving into developing the remaining five percent which has to do with reactor coolant pumps, man-machine interface system related to the main control room and last but not least computer code, design code.
They are doing this one at a time. By this time, the last one still has to be resolved. That means we're probably 99% done, only 1 percent remaining. Now is it the same as 100%? I don't think so, because 99% and 100% can make a day and night difference."

He also points out that if Korea wishes to win more deals from the international market, it needs the involvement of more than just the state-run Korea Electric Power Corporation -- for example, participation from the private sector.
That way, it can boost manpower and capital and have a better chance at beating competitors like Areva of France and General Electric of the United States.
As for last year's corruption scandals involving nuclear energy officials, local experts say it's imperative that Korea clears its name on the global stage.
Once Korea regains trust on top of securing a steady supply chain of uranium requirements, pundits say Korea should have a fair chance at inking more international deals in the future.
Laah Hyun-kyung, Arirang News.


Reporter : jlaah@arirang.co.kr

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fatboyme (USA) 2014-05-20    

Sad stuff.