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KHNP’s design for nuclear plant approved by U.S.

Success is a win for industry challenged by government policy

Aug 28,2019
Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power (KHNP) said Tuesday that it received final approval for its nuclear reactor design in the United States.

The approval of KHNP’s APR1400 reactor is the first time that a non-U.S. reactor received design certification from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, according to KHNP.

The certification paves the way for APR1400 reactors to be built in the United States.

The light water reactor model has already been exported to the United Arab Emirates, with six reactors in Korea currently being operated or constructed.

KHNP said that the certification highlights the high level of safety of the reactor design, following its certification from European authorities in Oct. 2017. U.S. and European nuclear reactor design certifications are considered to be the most stringent among global standards.

KHNP applied to receive the design certification from U.S. authorities in Dec. 2014 with Kepco Engineering & Construction, Kepco Nuclear Fuel and Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction.

The APR1400 reactor had received standard design approval from U.S. authorities last September before receiving the finalized certification on Monday.

The approval is a significant win for the Korean nuclear industry, which has faced difficulties under the current administration’s energy policy drive away from nuclear power.

President Moon Jae-in has vowed to reduce Korea’s reliance on nuclear power, citing safety risks, and has emphasized renewable energy. In its long-term energy master plan unveiled in June, the government said it would not pursue new construction of nuclear reactors and not extend operation of reactors.

The long-term energy plan has coincided with disappointing results for the nuclear industry.

Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power signed a deal in June to become a maintenance providers for the U.A.E.’s Barakah plant that its parent company Kepco built, undercutting expectations of becoming its sole maintenance provider for a longer period.

BY CHAE YUN-HWAN [chae.yunhwan@joongang.co.kr]


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