SEOUL, Oct. 6 (Korea Bizwire) – The Korean government has decided to pioneer one of the ‘blue oceans’, dismantling nuclear power plants abroad, and will invest 61 billion won over the next 15 years to develop core technology.
The government confirmed the policy to foster the dismantling of nuclear plants at the fifth Atomic Energy Promotion Council.
The government estimates that there are 588 nuclear plants that will soon need to be decommissioned, and the size of the market for dismantling them is expected to be up to 440 trillion won.
There are companies specializing in the dismantling of nuclear plants in advanced countries, and technology is already well developed, but in Korea’s case, the technology lags far behind, and there are no companies capable of carrying out such work.
The government will concentrate on developing technology to dismantle the Gori NPP Unit 1, which is the first nuclear plant in Korea that will be shut down completely. The Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning will invest 150 billion won until 2021 to develop 17 core generic technologies, and the Department of Industry will invest 70 billion won to develop technologies to put the dismantling technology into practical use.
In addition, the government will invest another 150 billion won to build a research facility, and a further 50 billion won to develop special equipment such as robots that will remove radioactive pollutants in and out of the nuclear reactor.
To allow various companies to participate in the dismantling of the Gori NPP Unit 1, creating an industrial complex is under consideration.
The government is planning to invest a total of 610 billion won to develop the technology and platforms to dismantle nuclear plants.
Apart from dismantling, the government also intends to set plans to solve problems that have occurred in storing the already spent nuclear fuel. Currently, 24 units are operating in Korea, and 750 tons of spent nuclear fuel are generated every year. With 72.3 percent of the storage space full at the end of 2014, additional space will soon be needed.
The government plans to expand storage space at the nuclear plants, secure more permanent disposal facilities, and reduce toxins or the volume of the waste during storage, transportation and disposal.
By Francine Jung (firstname.lastname@example.org)