The Korean government will invest 616.3 billion won (US$528.8 million) to develop and advance technology for nuclear decommissioning and create an ecosystem for the nuclear decommissioning industry by 2030.
Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn presided at the fifth nuclear energy promotion committee meeting at the Gwacheon government complex on Oct. 5. During the meeting, participants discussed and finalized the direction of policies to dismantle nuclear power plants in a safe and economical manner and to foster the nuclear decommissioning industry. They also talked about recommendations for the management and follow-up of used nuclear fuel, and plans for development of future nuclear power systems and establishment of strategies for their verifications.
It was decided that the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE) and the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning (MSIP) would work together to secure and advance technology for nuclear decommissioning. The MOTIE is planning to inject 70 billion won (US$60 million) to develop 17 nuclear decommissioning technologies and 50 billion won (US$42.9 million) in the development of special equipment like decontamination robots for nuclear reactors. The MSIP is going to invest 150 billion won (US$128.7 million) to develop 17 core technologies and another 150 billion won to build a research center aimed at dismantling nuclear facilities in order to develop, test, and transfer decommissioning technologies, and to test equipment.
The government also decided to secure a place at Kyungju by the end of 2019 to safely dismantle Kori-1 and dispose of its nuclear waste. The nation's first nuclear power reactor is going to close in late 2017, and it is scheduled to be dismantled by 2030, along with nuclear waste disposal.
The nuclear energy promotion committee decided to establish a roadmap to advance related technology in the latter half of this year in order to prepare for the time after the 2030s, when demand for dismantling nuclear power plants is expected to rise rapidly. Through the roadmap, the government is going to search for strategies aimed at entering the global market, under the premise that it will create an ecosystem for the nuclear decommissioning industry and accumulate development capabilities at the international level. It will be done through reviewing the creation of industrial clusters, including strengthening programs to train manpower so as to prepare for the demand of the nuclear decommissioning industry, providing support for the creation of the local market, and taking apart nuclear reactors.
The government is going to come up with a plan to manage used nuclear fuel. To help execute the plan, Seoul will also start modifying related legislation by enacting a special law on used nuclear fuel.