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S. Korea wins W1tr deal to operate UAE nuclear reactors

[THE INVESTOR] State-run Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power said on July 25 it has clinched a deal with its United Arab Emirates counterpart to operate four nuclear reactors under construction there through 2030.

KHNP president Cho Seok said the latest operating support services agreement with the UAE is unprecedented in the nuclear sector.

“Globally, too, it’s rare that a country has foreigners handling nuclear reactors. South Korea’s relationship with the Middle East has evolved around the construction sector since the 1970s, but a new era seems to be dawning now,” said Cho.

Under the plan signed in Abu Dhabi on July 20, KHNP will be in charge of the operation of four Advanced Power Reactor-1400 nuclear reactors currently under construction in the UAE. Starting May 2017, the state-run firm will send 210 employees every year to run the reactors.

The Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation will bear the costs of the operation. The size of the deal is estimated at 1 trillion won (US$878 million), including living expenses for the South Korean workers.

In 2009, a South Korean consortium led by state-run Korea Electric Power Corp. won a $20 billion deal to build four nuclear power plants in the UAE, marking the nation’s first export of nuclear reactors. In 2015, President Park Geun-hye visited the Emirates to attend a ceremony marking the installation of a Korean-built nuclear reactor at a power plant in Barakah.

(theinvestor@heraldcorp.com)
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