South Korea Signs Agreement With Poland to Build Their Nuclear Reactors

Aldgra Fredly
By Aldgra Fredly
November 1, 2022Asia & Pacific
South Korea Signs Agreement With Poland to Build Their Nuclear Reactors
South Korea's nuclear power reactor under construction at the time—Shin-Kori 3 and 4 called APR-1400—in Gori near the southern port of Busan, on Feb. 5, 2013. (Jun Yeon-Je/AFP via Getty Images)

South Korea and Poland have signed initial agreements to build a second nuclear power plant in Poland, as South Korea continues taking steps to revive its nuclear industry and Poland strives for a cheap and stable energy supply.

Polish energy companies ZE PAK and PGE signed a letter of intent with Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power on Monday to build a nuclear power plant in Patnow, Poland, according to South Korea’s Trade, Industry and Energy Ministry.

Government officials from both nations also signed an agreement outlining their support for the APR-1400—an advanced reactor model developed by South Korea that uses key technologies from U.S. firm Westinghouse Electric Co.—construction process and information sharing, it stated.

This will be the second nuclear power project in Poland. The Polish government said on Oct. 28 that Westinghouse will build its first nuclear power plant but did not specify the location.

Poland’s Minister of State Jacek Sasin said the nuclear power cooperation deal with South Korea would help Poland strengthen its energy security and boost bilateral ties. Poland is moving to lower its carbon emissions and phase out energy production from coal.

“Poland is in need of a low-cost and stable source of energy, all the more essential considering the current situation and geopolitical conditions,” Sasin said in a statement.

South Korea’s Nuclear Power Goal

Lee Chang-yang, South Korea’s Minister of Trade and Industry, said the Polish partnership is in lock-step with the government’s push for nuclear reactor exports, which will generate more jobs for South Koreans.

Lee said that South Korea will also seek “further bilateral cooperation” with Poland in other areas like defense, batteries, hydrogen, and electric vehicles.

Poland previously acquired tanks, howitzers, and fighter planes from South Korea following the start of the Russia-Ukraine war.

South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol has aimed to revive South Korea’s status as a key nuclear reactor exporter, with plans to export 10 nuclear reactors by 2030. Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power signed an agreement with Kazakhstan in June to build two nuclear power plants.

Boosting nuclear energy marks a sharp policy reversal from that of the previous government, led by then-President Moon Jae-in, whose left-leaning government had pushed to phase out nuclear power over some 45 years.

Yoon, a conservative who took office in June, has set a new target for nuclear to contribute 30 percent of electricity by 2030.

According to the World Nuclear Association, South Korea is among the world’s “most prominent nuclear energy countries” with 25 nuclear reactors in operation. It has also constructed four nuclear reactors in Barakah, the United Arab Emirates.

From The Epoch Times

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