South Korea opened a nuclear industry support center Thursday to back the local industry's efforts to tap into the global market and maintain the supply chain under the country's nuclear phase-out plan, the government said.
Nuclear subsidiaries of the state-run Korea Electric Power Corp., including the Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power Co. and KEPCO Engineering & Construction Company Inc., as well as construction companies and parts makers, gathered for the opening of the center in southern Seoul.
KEPCO has been stepping up marketing efforts to win a nuclear project in Saudi Arabia after being shortlisted for the bid in June along with rivals from the United States, France, Russia and China.
The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said it will closely communicate with the state utilities and local companies in the nuclear industry to keep the supply chain and core technologies under the energy transformation policy.
The energy initiative aims to expand the ratio of renewable energy to 20 percent by 2030 by reducing reliance on nuclear and coal power.
Nuclear industry officials have expressed concerns that the nuclear phase-out plan could hamper their efforts to export indigenous nuclear reactors abroad.
Currently, South Korea operates 24 nuclear reactors that generate about 30 percent of its electricity. Under the nuclear phase-out plan, the nation's 10 oldest reactors will be retired by 2030 as their operational life cycles expire one by one. (Yonhap)