KEPCO KPS signs a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Westinghouse Electric Company on November 7 for cooperation in the field of nuclear power plant decommissioning. The MOU is effective for three years. Specifically, they are to work with each other for technology transfer and training related to cutting and decontamination, joint global projects, spent nuclear fuel container development, etc.
At present, only the United States, Germany and Japan have experience in this field. South Korea’s decommissioning technology is equivalent to 70% of those of the countries and South Korea is expected to have two out of 11 pieces of essential decommissioning equipment in 2027 at the earliest.
As of April this year, a total of 449 nuclear power plants were in operation across the world. 76 and 183 are scheduled to be decommissioned in the period of 2015 to 2019 and in the 2020s, respectively. The numbers for the 2030s and the 2040s are 127 and 89. The process is estimated to cost 440 trillion won in total.
The key parts of the MOU include joint global projects and spent nuclear fuel container development. Westinghouse Electric Company is to take part in nuclear power plant decommissioning in South Korea while helping KEPCO KPS penetrate overseas markets. 28 nuclear power plants are currently in operation in South Korea and the number is scheduled to be reduced to 14 by 2038.
According to the MOU, KEPCO KPS cannot disclose, transfer, export or re-export information, data, technology, equipment and the like provided by Westinghouse. Approvals from the U.S. government are required in some cases, too.