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The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

Fall in South Korea’s nuclear shares. Kepco not now likely to buy out bankrupt Westinghouse nuclear

FT 28th June 2017, South Korea’s nuclear shares took a hit from the new government’s
anti-nuclear policy, a day after president Moon Jae-in decided to suspend
construction of two partially built nuclear reactors. Mr Moon said on
Tuesday the construction of Shin Kori No 5 and Shin Kori No 6 in Busan, the
country’s second-largest port city, would be halted for three months,
during which the government would seek views from the public on their
future.

Shares of Kepco, the state-run utility at the forefront of the
country’s efforts to export nuclear reactors, fell 1.8 per cent while those
of Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction, which is leading a consortium to
build the two nuclear reactors, dropped 4.4 per cent. The suspension of the
construction of the two reactors – wi th about one-third of construction
already finished – came after Mr Moon pledged to stop building nuclear
reactors, with the goal of making the county nuclear free by 2060.

Kepco had been seen by industry experts as the only potential acquirer of the
bankrupt US nuclear power plant builder Westinghouse because of security
reasons. But experts caution the political shift on nuclear energy will
probably discourage the state-run company from pursuing any attempt to buy
Westinghouse. Kepco has not ruled out buying Westinghouse but said on
Wednesday it was mulling how the government’s changed nuclear stance may
affect its bid. Kepco is in talks to join a UK consortium called NuGen that
is using Westinghouse’s technology to build a new nuclear power station in
Cumbria, England. “It would be difficult for the state-run company to even
raise the possibility of bidding for Westinghouse, when the government sees
nuclear energy as a doomed industry,” said Suh Kyun-ryul, professor of
atomic engineering at Seoul National University.  https://www.ft.com/content/a5d7ab48-5bd6-11e7-9bc8-8055f264aa8b

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June 30, 2017 - Posted by | business and costs, politics, South Korea

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