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The 23rd Korea-France Joint Coordinating Committee on Nuclear Energy (July 3)

- Expand technical cooperation between Korea and France in nuclear safety and decommissioning

The Ministry of Science and ICT and the French Atomic Energy Commission jointly held the 23rd Korea-France Joint Coordinating Committee on Nuclear Energy (‘Committee’) from July 3 to 4 at Paris, France and agreed on 30 agendas for technical cooperation on nuclear safety, decommissioning and other issues.

Korean delegation : experts from Ministry of Science and ICT, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute, Korea Institute of Nuclear Safety, Korea Institute of Radiological Medical Sciences, National Fusion Research Institute, Korea Radioactive Waste Agency, Korea Foundation of Nuclear Safety

French delegation : nuclear research/regulation experts from French Atomic Energy Commission, French Nuclear Safety Authority, Institute for Radiological Protection and Nuclear Safety, National Radioactive Waste Management Agency

Launched in 1982, the Committee has been led by Director-Generals of Korea and France and participated by experts of nuclear-related institutions, serving as a government-wide cooperative channel for discussing matters for substantially strengthening bilateral nuclear cooperation (nuclear policy, R&D, industry).

The Korean government agreed to strengthen collaboration with France in nuclear safety enhancement technology, decontamination and decommissioning technology, radiation usage technology, radioactive waste disposal technology to efficiently execute the ‘Future Nuclear Technology Development Strategy’(’17.12) that serves as the foundation of Korea’s energy conversion policy.

The parties agreed to extend the ‘Safety Assessment Cooperation Agreement’ signed between nuclear safety institutions (Korea Institute of Nuclear Safety(KINS)-Institute for Radiological Protection and Nuclear Safety(IRSN)) to promote information exchange. The parties also agreed to continue technology exchange and cooperation in preparation for nuclear emergencies, and to launch cooperation on bilateral radiation emergency medical care from 2019 with the aim of advancing treatment technology for patients with radiation exposure.

The parties agreed to cooperate on the research of 13 safety technologies, such as core melt* progression, hydrogen risk and nuclear accident emergency response robot technology, to improve operational safety of nuclear plants.

* Core melt : compound created when reactor core melts during core meltdown

In addition, the parties agreed to cooperate in decontamination and decommissioning technology, research nuclear fuel, future nuclear system, nuclear fusion energy, radiation-based cultural asset preservation technology to prepare for future expansion of nuclear technology and decommissioning industry.

MSIT also agreed to conduct a 3-phase joint research on the safety of shallow land disposal* facilities with France, a country with abundant experience and technology in radioactive waste management and disposal.

* Shallow land disposal : disposing radioactive waste 30m below ground surface

Director-General Won-ho Choi of the Space, Nuclear and Big Science Policy Bureau stated that it will be an “opportunity to advance domestic safety technology and power plant decommissioning technology by strengthening cooperation with France, a leading country in safety and decommissioning technology.”

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