South Korea Announces Plans to Become a Top Three Nuclear Power Generator

South Korea announced today a plan to become one of the world's top three nuclear power generators by expanding the country's global market share of nuclear reactors to 20 percent by 2030.

The "Nu-Tech 2030" plan aims to make the country one of the three major nuclear energy powers, along with the United States and France, the Ministry of Knowledge Economy said in a press release.

The move comes as the first phase of the Nu-Tech 2012 plan will be completed late next year, under which Seoul will develop three key nuclear technologies -- a man-machine interface system, reactor designs and a reactor coolant pump -- that can give the country its first indigenous nuclear reactor. At present, South Korean-made reactors are built using foreign technology and components in a few key areas.

"To make sure our nuclear reactors are most sought after in the global market, we will develop a safe and reliable system with the best performance, and thus become the world's third largest nuclear energy operator following the United States and France in the target year," the Ministry of Knowledge Economy said in a press release.Shin-Fori Units 3 and 4 use APR1400 Technology

South Korea is currently in the process of developing a new "advanced power reactor" by late next year. Under Nu-Tech 2030, the country will develop another reactor named the "Innovative, Passive, Optimized, Worldwide Economical Reactor," or I-Power.

Under the new plan that will be finalized at the end of this year, South Korea will domestically develop key technologies, including the strengthening of nuclear safety, and will also build innovative reactors that have the best performance and safety.

The developments will be completed in phases by 2022.

"The implementation of this plan would strengthen the safety of our nuclear reactors to 100 times the level recommended by the International Atomic Energy Agency," the ministry said.

It also expects the plan to create nearly 1 million jobs and help small and mid-sized companies expand earnings to $13.9 billion.

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