The Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power Corp. (KHNP) announced that it has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for technological cooperation with Nucleoeléctrica Argentina Sociedad Anonima (NASA) on January 27 in order to safely manage domestic nuclear power plants and push into global nuclear energy market by expanding cooperation with a global nuclear power plant operator.
Under the MOU, the two firms will cooperate in a range of areas including the operation, maintenance, engineering and construction of nuclear power plants. KHNP also said it has been in practical talks to participate in the Embalse nuclear power plant project in which NASA has been seeking to extend the plant's operation life. The Korean nuclear power company wants to export its technology and experience that has been proven by the successful extension of the Wolseong unit 1 reactor's life span. It said another deal can be signed when the two companies agree.
KHNP has been providing technological service and advice for the operation of nuclear power plants to NASA since 2008. It dispatched engineers and technicians to the country when NASA began designing the refurbishing project for the aging Embalse plant in 2011.
In Argentina, about 5 percent of the electricity comes from nuclear reactors. The country has nuclear power life-cycle technologies, such as enrichment, operation, construction and reprocessing, and there are a total of nine nuclear power plants, including research reactors.
NASA is the largest nuclear power plant operator in South America that runs three pressurized heavy water reactors (PHWR), which are the same with the Wolseong reactors in Korea, and it has started the refurbishing project for the Embalse plant in January 2016 in order to extend its operational life. The company is also planning to build three new nuclear reactors, including PHWR unit 1 and 2, in the future.