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Korea’s nuclear reactor technologies allegedly leaked to UAE, US

The South Korean government is reportedly looking into allegations of leaks of key nuclear reactor technologies to other countries.

According to multiple local news reports Tuesday, the Nuclear Safety and Security Commission and the National Intelligence Service are verifying the authenticity of a tipoff delivered to the NSSC through a nuclear safety ombudsman system. 

Barakah nuclear power plant
Barakah nuclear power plant

Based on the tipoff, one retiree from state-run nuclear operator Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power has allegedly leaked “critical” nuclear reactor technologies to the US and the United Arab Emirates. The retiree had reportedly moved to the UAE’s Nawah Energy Company in 2015.

He is alleged to have provided blueprints, production technologies and detailed documents of an APR-1400, an advanced pressurized water nuclear reactor designed by the Korea Electric Power Corp., according to the reports.

In response to the reports, Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power said, “It is difficult to verify the allegations now due to a lack of detailed information.”

It added that it would actively cooperate when the investigation begins.

The nuclear operator, however, specifically denied one of the allegations: that NAPS, or Nuclear Application Programs, of APR-1400, were among the items leaked. KHNP and Kepco E&C said that the provision of NAPS to Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation was done after going through proper procedures.

NAPS is software that assesses whether a nuclear reactor is in normal operation. It was developed by Kepco E&C with a budget of around 200 billion won ($168 million).

By Shin Ji-hye (