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Korea, China to discuss nuclear energy partnership

Korea and China will hold high-level talks this week on nuclear energy cooperation, the government said Wednesday.

The bilateral Nuclear Power Joint Committee meeting, the 13th of its kind, is scheduled to open in Beijing on Thursday.

In the two-day session, Korea will be represented by Hong Nam-ki, vice minister of science, ICT and future planning. His Chinese counterpart is Xu Dazhe, the director of the China Atomic Energy Authority. Other government officials and civilian experts will join the meeting.

The two sides are set for a broad range of discussions on a total of 43 agenda items in six fields, focusing on ways to promote partnerships in research and development (R&D), according to the Seoul ministry.

Korea plans to propose cooperation on R&D related to risk assessment and radiation measurement with regard to the possibility of nuclear reactor accidents and terrorist attacks, it added.

Also high on the agenda are nuclear fuel and waste management, as well as nuclear security and safety.

"This week's meeting is expected to serve as a chance for South Korea and China to affirm the importance of bilateral nuclear cooperation and develop partnerships toward a mutually beneficial direction," Hong said.

Korea and China signed an accord on nuclear energy cooperation in 1994 and launched the joint committee in 2000.

Korea operates 25 nuclear reactors for the supply of around 30 percent of its total electricity generated.

China, which has 32 reactors and is constructing 22 others, is expanding investment in the nuclear energy sector. (Yonhap)

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