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South Korean government to massively fund developing small nuclear reactors, partnering with USA companies NuScam and Terra Power.

Policymakers endorse massive injection of state money for SMR development

Lim Chang-won Reporter(cwlim34@ajunews.com) | Lim Chang-won Reporter, email : cwlim34@ajunews.com© Aju Business Daily & www.ajunews.com 
 June 2, 2022, SEOUL
— With the blessing of President Yoon Suk-yeol, South Korea’s nuclear power industry grabbed a new opportunity to rebound after policymakers endorsed a massive injection of state money for the development of a relatively safe small modular reactor called “i-SMR” that can be operated in an underground water tank and cooled naturally in case of emergency. 

Yoon, who took office in early May, dumped his predecessor’s “nuclear-exit” policy of phasing out nuclear power plants and vowed to actively revitalize South Korea’s struggling nuclear power industry and develop next-generation reactors, insisting that nuclear power plants are an essential factor in restoring industrial competitiveness.

Up to Yoon’s expectations, the proposed development of i-SMRs has passed a preliminary feasibility study, according to the Ministry of Science and ICT. Some 399.2 billion won ($319.9 million) will be spent from 2023 to 2028 for the i-SMR project aimed at developing a reactor with a power generation capacity of less than 300 megawatts. ……..

Mainly through partnerships with American companies, South Korean companies have jumped into the SMR market, such as Hyundai E&C and Doosan Enerbility, a key player in South Korea’s nuclear industry that tied up with NuScale Power, an SMR company in the United States.

 In May 2022, Samsung C&T strengthened its partnership with NuScale Power to cooperate in SMR projects in Romania and other East European countries. SK Group tied up with TerraPower for cooperation in the development and commercialization of SMR technology.

Separately, the government approved the proposed spending of 348.2 billion won from 2023 to 2030 to develop technologies for the dismantling of defunct reactors………

Hyundai E&C has tied up with its American partner, Holtec International, for the decommissioning of defunct nuclear power plants, starting with the Indian Point Energy Center in Buchanan in Westchester County. https://www.ajudaily.com/view/20220602110820983

June 6, 2022 Posted by | Small Modular Nuclear Reactors, South Korea | Leave a comment

South Korea to keep import ban on Japan seafood due to Fukushima concern.

South Korea to keep import ban on Japan seafood due to Fukushima concern   https://english.kyodonews.net/news/2022/05/d973d7db8578-s-korea-to-keep-import-ban-on-japan-seafood-due-to-fukushima-concern.html

 KYODO NEWS   26 May 22, South Korea will maintain an import ban on Japanese seafood from areas affected by the 2011 Fukushima nuclear crisis, a minister said Wednesday, denying any plan to lift it in a bid to secure Tokyo’s support to join a regional free trade accord.

“We’ve taken a resolute stance on the issue. We aren’t considering allowing imports of Japan’s Fukushima seafood as a tactic to get backing for our bid to join” the Trans-Pacific Partnership accord, Oceans Minister Cho Seung Hwan said during a meeting with reporters, according to Yonhap News Agency.

Japan is one of the leading members of the 11-nation TPP, which also includes Australia, Singapore and Mexico. Consent of all members is required for new membership.

South Korea has been working on domestic procedures to submit an application, Yonhap said.

China and Taiwan are also seeking to join the TPP.

Taiwan in February lifted an import ban on food products from Fukushima and some other Japanese prefectures imposed in the wake of the Fukushima disaster.

Amid radiation concerns, South Korea has banned Japanese seafood imports from eight prefectures, including Fukushima.

May 26, 2022 Posted by | environment, South Korea | Leave a comment

New South Korean President plans to reverse the nuclear phaseout policy

South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol was formally inaugurated on 10 May.
He is committed to strengthening the nuclear power sector, reversing the
policy his predecessor, President Moon Jae-in of phasing out nuclear power
adopted in 2017. Investing in nuclear energy formed part of the platform on
which Yoon fought the election.

 Nuclear Engineering International 13th May 2022

https://www.neimagazine.com/news/newssouth-korea-expected-to-end-nuclear-phase-out-9696004

May 17, 2022 Posted by | politics, South Korea | Leave a comment

Greenpeace chief urges Yoon to reevaluate nuclear-focused decarbonization plan

Greenpeace chief urges Yoon to reevaluate nuclear-focused decarbonization plan https://en.yna.co.kr/view/AEN20220422004700315

All News 11:20 April 22, 2022  SEOUL, April 22 (Yonhap) — The leader of Greenpeace urged President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol on Friday to “reevaluate” his nuclear-focused decarbonization plan in a letter sent to him on the occasion of Earth Day.

Yoon’s transition team is pushing to modify the country’s carbon neutrality plans that the outgoing Moon Jae-in administration declared with a goal to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent from the 2018 levels by 2030 and reach carbon neutrality by 2050.

The overhaul will likely include reversal of Moon’s nuclear phase-out policy and changes in energy mix.

“We urge you to reevaluate whether nuclear energy could be safe, fast, and affordable enough to achieve the 1.5 degree C temperature goal,” Greenpeace International Executive Director Norma Torres said in the letter.

She said, “Korea already has the highest nuclear power plant density in the world … we wonder whether further nuclear expansion will be acceptable by the public.”

Torres also said, “The unsolved nuclear waste problem is also a major issue you need to consider in your nuclear focused decarbonization plan.”

South Korea, instead, needs a new, ambitious energy transition strategy to employ more renewable energy coupled with an ambitious fossil fuel and nuclear phase-out plan, according to her.

“Needless to say, your term from 2022 to 2027 is a critical time to decide whether Korea will pull its weight and therefore contribute to the global mission to prevent disastrous climate change in time or not,” she said.

April 22, 2022 Posted by | politics, South Korea | Leave a comment

South Korea’s president-elect wants U.S. nuclear bombers, submarines to return

South Korea’s president-elect wants U.S. nuclear bombers, submarines to return, By Hyonhee Shin,  SEOUL, April 6 (Reuters) – Advisers to South Korea’s president-elect sought redeployment of U.S. strategic assets, such as nuclear bombers and submarines, to the Korean peninsula during talks held on a visit to Washington, one of the advisers said on Wednesday………  (subscribers only)  https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/skoreas-president-elect-wants-us-nuclear-bombers-submarines-return-2022-04-06/

Reporting by Hyonhee Shin; Additional reporting by Jeff Mason in Washington; Editing by Clarence Fernandez

April 7, 2022 Posted by | South Korea, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Wildfire on South Korea’s east coast threatens nuclear and liquefied natural gas plants


Wildfire on South Korea’s east coast threatens nuclear and liquefied natural gas plants

ABC  Sat 5 Mar 2022 Thousands of South Korean firefighters and troops are battling a large wildfire that has been tearing through an eastern coastal area and threatened a nuclear power station and a liquefied natural gas plant.

Key points:

  • Around 7,000 personnel, 65 helicopters and 513 vehicles have been deployed to contain the fire
  • President Moon Jae-in issued an alarm as the fire reached the perimeter of the seaside nuclear power plant
  • The operator reduced production to 50 per cent and cut off some electricity lines as preventive measures

The fire began Friday morning on a mountain in the seaside town of Uljin and burned across more than 6,000 hectares to the nearby city of Samcheok………………..

Around 7,000 firefighters, troops and public workers as well as 65 helicopters and 513 vehicles, have been deployed to contain the fire, which after reaching Samcheok began moving southward back toward Uljin, driven by wind……………

President Moon Jae-in issued an alarm Friday afternoon as the fire reached the perimeter of a seaside nuclear power plant in Uljin, forcing the operator to reduce production to 50 per cent and cut off some electricity lines as preventive measures.

Hundreds of firefighters were deployed to the plant and kept the blaze under control before winds drove it northward toward Samcheok…………   https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-03-05/south-korea-wildfires-threaten-nuclear-lng-plants/100885914

March 8, 2022 Posted by | climate change, South Korea | Leave a comment

Wildfires threaten a nuclear power plant in South Korea

  Thousands of South Korean firefighters and troops are battling a large
wildfire that has been tearing through an eastern coastal area and
threatened a nuclear power station and a liquefied natural gas plant.

 ABC News 5th March 2022

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-03-05/south-korea-wildfires-threaten-nuclear-lng-plants/100885914

 Sky 6th March 2022

https://news.sky.com/story/south-korea-thousands-flee-their-homes-after-wildfire-engulfs-city-and-threatens-nuclear-power-station-12557995

March 7, 2022 Posted by | climate change, South Korea | Leave a comment

Why joint US-South Korean research on plutonium separation raises nuclear proliferation danger 

 Why joint US-South Korean research on plutonium separation raises nuclear
proliferation danger by Frank N. von Hippel. South Korea, like the United
States, has long relied on nuclear power as a major source of electric
power.

As a result, it has amassed large stores of spent nuclear fuel and,
as in the United States, has experienced political pushback from
populations around proposed central sites for the spent fuel. South Korea
also has a history of interest in nuclear weapons to deter North Korean
attack.

 Bulletin of Atomic Scientists 13th Jan 2022

https://thebulletin.org/2022/01/why-joint-us-south-korean-research-on-plutonium-separation-raises-nuclear-proliferation-danger/

January 15, 2022 Posted by | - plutonium, South Korea, weapons and war | Leave a comment

South Korea presidential contender vows to seek nuclear-powered submarines, months after Australia’s Aukus deal.

South Korea presidential contender vows to seek nuclear-powered submarines, months after Australia’s Aukus deal, Guardian, 31 Dec 21,

Lee Jae-myung aims to counter North Korea threats and pledges to restart stalled talks between Pyongyang and Washington

South Korea’s ruling party presidential candidate said he will seek US support to build nuclear-powered submarines to better counter threats from North Korea and proactively seek to reopen stalled denuclearisation talks between Pyongyang and Washington.

In an interview with Reuters and two other media outlets, Lee Jae-myung also pledged to put aside “strategic ambiguity” in the face of intensifying Sino-US rivalry, vowing pragmatic diplomacy would avoid South Korea being forced to choose between the two countries………………

Lee said he will persuade the US to win diplomatic and technology aid to launch nuclear-powered submarines, which can operate more quietly for longer periods, amid renewed calls for building one in the military and parliament after North Korea test-fired a new missile from a submarine in October.

Lee cited the deal Australia struck under a trilateral security partnership with the US and Britain in September to build its own nuclear-powered submarines…………………………… https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/dec/30/south-korea-presidential-contender-vows-to-seek-nuclear-powered-submarines-months-after-australias-aukus-deal

January 1, 2022 Posted by | politics, South Korea, weapons and war | Leave a comment

U.S., Japan, S.Korea to meet over N.Korea nuclear standoff

U.S., Japan, S.Korea to meet over N.Korea nuclear standoff, By Josh Smith   SEOUL, Sept 10 (Reuters) – Officials from the United States, South Korea and Japan will hold a meeting on North Korea next week in Tokyo, South Korea’s foreign ministry confirmed on Friday.

The three countries have been discussing ways to break a standoff with North Korea over its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programmes, which have drawn international sanctions.

……………. U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration has said it will explore diplomacy to achieve North Korean denuclearisation, but has shown no willingness to ease sanctions.

…… Pyongyang has also said it is open to diplomacy, but that it sees no sign of policy changes from the United States, citing issues such as sanctions as well as joint military drills with South Korea.Reporting by Josh Smith and Hyonhee Shin in Seoul and David Brunnstrom in Washiington; Editing by Kevin Liffey and Alistair Bell  https://www.reuters.com/world/us-japan-skorea-meet-over-nkorea-nuclear-standoff-2021-09-10/

September 11, 2021 Posted by | politics international, South Korea | Leave a comment

South Korea developing a missile as powerful as a nuclear weapon

S Korea developing missile as powerful as nuclear weapon, Al Jazeera,  3 Sept 21,
Three-tonne missile designed to destroy underground facilities by penetrating tunnels to effectively nullify nuclear launches.  
South Korea is in the final stages of developing a surface-to-surface ballistic missile as powerful as a tactical nuclear warhead, Yonhap news agency reported, as the country unveiled budget proposals aimed at bolstering its defences against North Korea.

According to the report published on Thursday, the new weapon can carry a warhead of up to three tonnes with a flight range of 350 to 400 km (217 to 248 miles).

The missile is designed to destroy underground missile facilities and bases by penetrating underground tunnels to effectively nullify nuclear and intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) ahead of their launches. The report said it can also reach all areas of North Korea if fired from around the inter-Korean border.

The project went ahead after the full lifting of US-imposed restrictions on missile development……….

The missile would be the latest in a tit-for-tat conventional missile race between the two Koreas…………

The defence plan also seeks to expand Seoul’s presence in space with an eye to deploy a new radar system to monitor space objects by the early 2030s.

Meanwhile, its Navy also plans to build more 3,000-tonne or larger submarines to replace ageing frigates with new ones with improved operational and combat capabilities.  https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/9/3/s-korea-developing-missile-as-powerful-as-nuclear-weapon-report

September 4, 2021 Posted by | South Korea, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Nuclear Weapons in South Korea? Not So Fringe Anymore.

Nuclear Weapons in South Korea? Not So Fringe Anymore.

Conservatives in South Korea’s upcoming presidential election support the country’s nuclear armament. This trend may be a sign that Washington might soon be dealing with an incoming administration who potentially champions a dangerous pro-nuclear policy.by William Kim  The National Interest,  22 Aug 21
, Don’t be taken aback if one of the hottest issues for South Korea’s upcoming presidential election is nuclear weapons—more specifically, the need for South Korea to possess its own. While North Korea has refrained from nuclear weapons testing since 2017, the progress they demonstrated in the past has moved the nuclear debate to the forefront of South Korean society. This year, Kim Jong-un’s remarks about strengthening the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s (DPRK) nuclear arsenal delivered at the recent Eighth Party Congress was enough for South Korean conservatives to once again stand in favor of developing their own nuclear weapons. With the South Korean presidential election in March 2022 quickly approaching, political discourse in Seoul about nuclear armament is a trend not to be ignored by the U.S. government.

Hawkish voices in favor of nuclearization in South Korea are not new. …………….. https://nationalinterest.org/feature/nuclear-weapons-south-korea-not-so-fringe-anymore-192122

August 23, 2021 Posted by | South Korea, weapons and war | Leave a comment

South Korean fishermen protest against the dumping of Fukushima wastewater into the Pacific Ocean

S.Korean fishermen hold boat protests against Japan nuclear plans, Reuters 30 Apr 21,  Hundreds of South Korean fishermen across the country held protests on Friday calling on Japan to reverse its decision to release contaminated water from its crippled Fukushima nuclear plant into the sea.

About 800 fishermen participated in rallies at ports in nine cities, according to South Korea’s National Federation of Fisheries Cooperatives.

At one port, at Gungpyeong on the west coast, fishermen held anti-Japan banners and chanted slogans such as “Withdraw Japan’s decision” and “Condemn irresponsible nuclear attack”. Twenty fishing boats with banners denouncing Japan’s decision sailed near the port.

“My father bequeathed this sea to me and I’m going to pass it on to my son, who is also fishing,” said Park Re-seung, chief of Yongdu-ri fishing village, who has worked in the fishing industry for 38 years. “Why is Japan doing this? How could they do such a bad thing against the sea? Don’t they eat fish?”…….

“For us, this issue is about making our living,” Park added. “If the customers continue to see the news of the water release, they wouldn’t be even buying fishes that we caught here.”  https://www.reuters.com/business/environment/skorean-fishermen-hold-boat-protests-against-japan-nuclear-plans-2021-04-30/

May 1, 2021 Posted by | oceans, South Korea, wastes | Leave a comment

S.Korean students shave heads in protest over Japan’s nuclear waste water plan


S.Korean students shave heads in protest over Japan’s nuclear waste water plan, Reuters, Hyun Yi  21 Apr 21
, More than 30 South Korean college students shaved their heads in front of the Japanese embassy in Seoul on Tuesday to protest Japan’s decision to release water from its crippled Fukushima nuclear plant into the sea.

Police periodically dispersed crowds, who chanted and held placards, but did not stop the event from taking place, though there is an anti-pandemic ban on gatherings larger than 10 people.

The protesters who were shaved were draped in protective sheets emblazoned with messages condemning the Japanese plan and calling for it to be ditched.

One read: “The Japanese government should immediately cancel the plan to release the contaminated water.”…….. https://www.reuters.com/business/environment/skorean-students-shave-heads-protest-over-japans-nuclear-waste-water-plan-2021-04-20/

April 22, 2021 Posted by | South Korea, wastes | Leave a comment

South Korea raises with USA its worries about Fukushima water to be dumped into the Pacific Ocean

South Korea raises Fukushima concerns with U.S,

Yahoo News, April 18, 2021  As U.S. climate envoy John Kerry appeared in Seoul over the weekend to discuss global warming,

South Korea’s foreign ministry says it raised concerns to him over Japan’s plans to dump contaminated water from its defunct Fukushima nuclear plant into the sea…….

Under the plan, more than 1 million tonnes of water will be discharged from the plant, the site of the world’s worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl.

Seoul has strongly rebuked the decision……

Kerry’s visit to Seoul precedes U.S. President Joe Biden’s virtual summit with world leaders on climate change, set for two days starting April 22. https://news.yahoo.com/south-korea-raises-fukushima-concerns-080908571.html

April 19, 2021 Posted by | oceans, politics international, South Korea, wastes | Leave a comment