Tuesday, October 15, 2019
South Korea and Saudi Arabia to Further Cooperate for Nuclear Power R&D
Cooperation on Small Modular Reactors
South Korea and Saudi Arabia to Further Cooperate for Nuclear Power R&D
  • By Jung Suk-yee
  • September 19, 2019, 09:42
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Science and ICT First Vice Minister Moon Mi-ok (right) and K.A.CARE President Khalid bin Saleh Al-Sultan pose for a photo after signing an MOU in Vienna, Austria on Sept. 17.

The Ministry of Science and ICT of South Korea and the King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy (K.A.CARE) of Saudi Arabia signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) in Vienna, Austria on Sept. 17. The purposes of the MOU include assistance for approvals in Saudi Arabia related to South Korea’s system-integrated modular advanced reactor (SMART), refinement of the reactor, technological cooperation for SMART construction and commercialization, and the establishment of a joint nuclear power research center.

The two countries invested US$130 million from 2015 to November last year to successfully complete their pre-SMART construction engineering project. The ministry is planning to provide assistance for SMART construction in Saudi Arabia by obtaining a domestic standard design approval based on the result of the project.

At the same time, the ministry is going to refine the reactor in terms of economy, stability and operational flexibility by using innovative technologies so that the SMART can become even more competitive in the global small modular reactor market.

The joint research center, which is scheduled to open late this year, is expected to be engaged in technological development for SMART innovation, research on safety analysis codes, and assistance for nuclear power research institute establishment in Saudi Arabia. In addition, the two countries are going to work closely with each other so that the SMART can be built in Middle Eastern and Southeast Asian countries planning to build small modular reactors.

In the meantime, the ministry recently had a meeting with the Jordan Atomic Energy Commission, discussing SMART construction and nuclear engineer training in Jordan. The commission recently announced a plan to introduce small modular reactors.