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US energy firm to appeal court decision in favor of KEPCO, KHNP over nuclear reactor exports

By Yonhap

Published : Sept. 20, 2023 - 09:24

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A nuclear reactor in Baraka in the United Arab Emirates (Yonhap) A nuclear reactor in Baraka in the United Arab Emirates (Yonhap)

A US energy firm said Tuesday it will appeal a district court's decision earlier this week to dismiss its lawsuit filed to stop two South Korean state-run companies from exporting nuclear power plants.

On Monday, the District Court for the District of Columbia rejected the complaint that Westinghouse Electric Co. filed against Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power and Korea Electric Power Corp. last October. The court determined that Westinghouse "lacks a private cause of action" and was therefore not qualified to take such a legal move.

"The decision by the US District Court merely holds that export control enforcement resides with the US government," David Durham, the president of Energy Systems at Westinghouse, said in a statement sent to Yonhap News Agency. "Westinghouse intends to appeal the decision."

It claimed that the use of Westinghouse intellectual property outside of Korea is the "principal" dispute between the parties.

"The decision has no bearing on the ongoing arbitration proceeding against KEPCO/KHNP involving KEPCO/KHNP's non-allowed transfer of Westinghouse's intellectual property outside Korea," it said.

Westinghouse filed the suit to prevent the Korean companies from transferring technical information on reactor designs, which it claims have been licensed by it, to Poland and other countries under a US export control regulation, called Part 810.

The defendants have contended the Atomic Energy Act does not contemplate "private" enforcement and delegates to the attorney general the "exclusive authority" to enforce relevant provisions. Part 810 is designed to implement the act.

The lawsuit stirred up a debate over whether South Korea's export of reactors that its companies have domestically mastered with the initial technological assistance from the US firm should be subject to US export control regulations. (Yonhap)