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ROK-Saudi Arabia Technology Cooperation Begins for Commercialization and Sophistication of SMART (Sep 18)

- MOU on Comprehensive Cooperation in Nuclear R&D and Agreement on Establishment & Operation of Korea-Saudi Arabia Joint Nuclear Research Center Signed on Sidelines of IAEA General Conference

- Future Cooperation in Licensing, Business Model, First Unit Construction, Construction Infrastructure Building

The MSIT announced that Vice Minister Mun Miock had a meeting with the president of Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy (K.A.CARE) and discussed cooperation in the SMART** construction project and nuclear R&D on September 17 (local time) at Vienna, Austria, on the sidelines of the IAEA General Conference.

* King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy (K.A.CARE): ministry-level government agency in charge of Saudi Arabia’s nuclear and renewable energies policies and their implementation.

** System-Integrated Modular Advanced Reactor (SMART): Multi-purpose integral small reactor, which was developed jointly by Korean research institutes (e.g. KAERI) and businesses and received a Standard Design Approval (SDA).

The MSIT and K.A.CARE signed a Memorandum of Understanding on comprehensive cooperation in nuclear research and development* and an Agreement on establishment and operation of Korea-Saudi Arabia joint nuclear research center**.

* Signatory: (Korea) Vice Minister Mun Miock of the MSIT, (Saudi Arabia) President Khalid bin Saleh Al-Sultan of K.A.CARE

** Signatory: President Won Seok Park of KAERI (Saudi Arabia) President Khalid bin Saleh Al-Sultan of K.A.CARE

The MOU outlines the construction of Korea-Saudi Arabia Joint Nuclear Research Centre and technology cooperation for the construction and commercialization of SMART, such as SMART SDA & Support for construction and licensing in Saudi Arabia Innovative SMART development and Nuclear safety.

Both countries plan to support construction approval of SMART in Saudi Arabia by promoting the acquisition of SDA in Korea for the result of PPE*. They also plan to develop next-generation smart reactor design that will drastically improve the economic feasibility, safety and operation flexibility by applying new technologies so that SMART can secure competitiveness in the global small modular reactors market.

* SMART Pre-Project Engineering (PPE) Project (Dec 2015 Nov 2018) : A Korea-Saudi Arabia Joint Project worth 130 million dollars in cooperation with KAERI and Korean businesses (KEPCO-E&C, KEPCO NF, POSCO E&C and Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction) on the design.

The Korea-Saudi Arabia Joint Nuclear Research Center will open at the end of the year to support the construction of a nuclear research institute in Saudi Arabia, with plans for joint research on SMART innovation element technology development and safety interpretation code.

At the bilateral meeting held before the signing of the MOU, Korea and Saudi Arabia discussed concrete plans for construction cooperation after the SMART PPE project is finished.

Both parties agreed to cooperate to prepare the construction of SMART in Saudi Arabia on the following 4 construction-related areas: SMART licensing (SDA, construction approval), creation of a business model, construction of the first unit, establishment of joint export infrastructure.

Korea and Saudi Arabia also agreed to cooperate in exporting SMART to Middle Eastern and South East Asian countries that are considering to adopt small modular reactors.

Vice Minister Mun said, “The MOU on R&D cooperation and the construction of a joint nuclear research center will facilitate technology cooperation that will unroll SMART licensing-construction-commercialization-sophistication, strengthening the strategic partnership between Korea and Saudi Arabia for SMART construction and breaking into the global small modular reactors market.”

Vice Minister Mun also had a bilateral meeting with the chairman of the Jordan Atomic Energy Commission, who recently announced its plan of adopting small modular reactors, to discuss the adoption of SMART in Jordan and talent cultivation.

In addition, she showed her active support for export by promoting the excellence of Korea’s research reactors, SMART and APR1400 at the Korean pavilion at the technology exhibition during the IAEA General Conference.

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