Korea and UAE sign nuclear know-how export deal

Nuclear companies in South Korea and the UAE are hoping to capitalise on the success of the $25bn Barakah nuclear project in Abu Dhabi by exporting similar projects to third countries.

A memorandum of understanding was signed at the 24th World Energy Congress in Abu Dhabi by Nasser Al Nasseri, the chief executive of the Barakah One Company,  and Jong Kap Kim, president of Kepco, the Korean power utility that built the 5.6GW plant.

The two companies will now explore opportunities for to offer the "Barakah model" to foreign markets. This could include the financing and licensing of schemes, as well as help with safety, operations and the management of the nuclear fuel cycle.

Al Nasseri commented: "We will collaborate to identify potential prospects to support the establishment of nuclear energy projects in other countries that will benefit from the unique knowledge and skills developed at Barakah."

Construction work is still under way at Barakah, which is the largest nuclear project in the world, and will be the first to be built in an Arab country. At present, its first reactor is being commissioned; three more will be brought online between now and 2020.  

The project has suffered delays of about two years in bringing the first reactor online. This was blamed on "the time required for the plant’s nuclear operators to complete operational readiness activities and to obtain necessary regulatory approvals".

Image: Barakah in the UAE: the first nuclear power plant in an Arab state (Arun Girija/ENEC)

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