Saudi Arabia and South Korea yesterday signed contracts to support their cooperation in developing SMART reactors.
|The signing of the contracts (Image: KAERI)
The documents were signed in Riyadh by the Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute (KAERI) - designer of the SMART (System-integrated Modular Advanced Reactor) - and Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy (KA-CARE). They were signed in the presence of KA-CARE president Hashim Abdullah Yamani.
The contracts follow a memorandum of understanding (MOU) the two countries signed on 3 March that will see them jointly promote the reactor in the global market. The MOU had followed an inter-governmental agreement the two countries signed in 2011 on the development and implementation of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.
The newly signed contracts "come as a package", KA-CARE said, and include cooperation and joint construction in designing the core of a SMART reactor.
SMART technology is considered to be one of the very latest Generation IV nuclear reactor designs, KA-CARE said.
SMART is a 330 MWt pressurised water reactor with integral steam generators and advanced safety features. The unit is designed for electricity generation (up to 100 MWe) as well as thermal applications, such as seawater desalination, with a 60-year design life and three-year refuelling cycle. While the basic design is complete, development had been stalled by the absence of any orders for an initial reference unit. It received standard design approval from the Korean regulator in mid-2012 and KAERI plans to build a demonstration plant to operate from 2017.
KA-CARE stressed the importance of the cooperation between the two countries in building human resources capacity in the Kingdom via technology transfer from South Korea.
Their cooperation is, KA-CARE said, "assurance of the importance of utilizing alternative sources for generating electricity, water desalination through the uses of atomic and renewable energy for the sake of maintaining hydrocarbon resources for the coming generations or avail it for export or for industry." It will also help attract investment and employment opportunities "through the localization of alternative energy industries in the Kingdom", it said.
Researched and written
by World Nuclear News