South Korea Seeks to Boost Reactor Exports


"A 20% share of the reactor market would place South Korea at a level similar to Russia"

South Korea aims to export 80 nuclear power reactors - worth some $400 billionóby 2030, according to the country's Ministry of Knowledge Economy. This would make South Korea the world's third largest reactor supplier with a 20% share of the global market.

In a report to President Lee Myung-bak, the ministry said, "Nuclear power-related business will be the most profitable market after automobiles, semiconductors and shipbuilding." It added, "We will promote the industry as a major export business."

A 20% share of the reactor market would place South Korea at a level similar to Russia, behind leaders France and the second-placed U.S.

The ministry said that South Korea must "customize" export strategies to meet the needs of individual countries, attain full technological self-sufficiency to bolster competitiveness, train more engineers and set up arrangements to ensure a steady supply of fuel, the ministry said. The country plans to become self sufficient in nuclear reactor technology by 2012.

According to Kim Young-hak, vice minister for Knowledge Economy, South Korea wants to sign deals to build 10 reactors by 2012. This figure includes the recent order from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to supply four power reactors.

In addition to exporting reactors, South Korea also plans to enter the $78 billion market for the operation, maintenance and repair of reactors. "In particular, there is growing demand for overhauls and life extensions for heavy water reactors," Kim said.

The recent order from the UAE marked South Korea's first reactor export.

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