KHNP to cooperate with US nuclear utility cooperative

09 December 2021

Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power has signed an agreement with US cooperative the Utilities Service Alliance - also known as USA - to cooperate in the development of innovative solutions to enhance nuclear power plant safety and performance within the Alliance's fleet and in the broader international commercial nuclear power industry.

The signing of the agreement (Image: Utilities Service Alliance)

The agreement was signed on 3 December in Washington, DC, by Utilities Service Alliance President and CEO John Christensen and KHNP President and CEO Chung Jae-hoon.

The agreement provides a platform for KHNP and Utilities Service Alliance to exchange the latest safety practices and innovations to improve plant performance. Through the agreement, KHNP will work with Utilities Service Alliance, their subject matter experts and key plant leadership from leading US commercial nuclear operators.

Under the agreement, KHNP will share its operating expertise from its fleet of 24 operating reactors and its operations and maintenance technologies, equipment and services that the company has established through its nearly 40 years of developing and operating nuclear power plants.

"Not only does this agreement expand engagement and opportunities for KHNP within USA, it formalises our collaboration on safety practices and performance improvement - something from which the entire industry may benefit," Christensen said. "USA and its members are also pleased to be taking actionable steps in advancing US-Korean commercial nuclear innovation and market cooperation."

Utilities Service Alliance Chairman Joel Gebbie added: "With our new relationship, USA members will also be able to share their unique industry position and 25 years of experience in leveraging their proven business and supplier partnership programmes with KHNP. USA has helped its utility members to achieve and maintain consistent, cost-effective, top-quartile performance - a proven and well-known measure of success within our industry - and we look forward to sharing our experiences through our new relationship with KHNP."

"As a leading top-three global operator in nuclear, we look forward to exchanging information and collaborating on ideas with our new partners in the USA," said Chung. "More importantly, in order for nuclear power to be competitive in the era of decarbonisation, the establishment of a reliable supply chain for equipment and materials must be premised above all else. I think if our experiences on operations and supply chains are shared and leveraged with USA member companies, it will pave the way for us to secure the competitiveness of the Korea-US nuclear industry."

Overland Park, Kansas-based Utilities Service Alliance is a not-for-profit cooperative that was incorporated in 1996. Its mission is to provide a business platform for its members to collaborate in plant performance and economic benefit initiatives. Between them, its eight member utilities (Energy Northwest, DTE Energy, Indiana Michigan Power Company, Luminant, Nebraska Public Power District, STP Nuclear Operating Company, Talen Energy and Xcel Energy) operate 14 reactors (six boiling water reactors and eight pressurised water reactors) at nine plant sites. These are: Columbia, Comanche Peak, Cook, Cooper, Fermi 2, Monticello, Prairie Island, South Texas and Susquehanna.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News