S. Korea and Saudi Arabia to push for development of new small reactors

Lim Chang-won Reporter() | Posted : May 14, 2019, 10:52 | Updated : May 14, 2019, 10:52

[Courtesy of KAERI]

SEOUL -- South Korea and Saudi Arabia will establish a joint research center and push for the development of next-generation small reactors. South Korean state researchers developed a system-integrated modular advanced reactor (SMART), but its commercialization has been delayed for various reasons.

"While expanding technical cooperation, the two countries discussed ways to cooperate in the Saudi construction of SMART nuclear power plants," Mun Mi-ock, first vice minister of the Ministry of Science and ICT, said Tuesday after attending a conference on nuclear power cooperation between South Korea and Saudi Arabi this week in Riyadh.

At the conference, the two sides agreed to push for the establishment of a joint nuclear research center in South Korea as well as technical cooperation for SMART construction, technical support and the development of next-generation SMART, Mun's office said.

SMART developed by the Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute (KAERI) is an integral-type small reactor which enhanced safety by containing major components such as pressurizer, steam generator, and reactor coolant pumps in a single reactor pressure vessel. KAERI has trained Saudi personnel for the construction and operation of SMART.

SMART is a pressurized water reactor designed for the generation of up to 100 MW electricity and thermal applications such as seawater desalination. Saudi Arabia and South Korea have reviewed the feasibility of constructing SMART reactors in Saudi Arabia and cooperate on the commercialization of SMART reactors in other countries.
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