Korea, UAE to share APR1400 operating experience

08 June 2017

Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power (KHNP) and the UAE's Nawah Energy Company have agreed to cooperate in the sharing of experience in the operation of Korean-designed APR1400 nuclear power reactors. South Korea's first APR1400 unit entered commercial operation in December 2015, while four such reactors are due to start up in the UAE by 2020.

KHNP-Nawah - June 2017 - 460 (KHNP)
The agreement was signed today in Seoul by KHNP president Kwan-Sup Lee and Nawah acting CEO Mohammed Sahoo Al Suwaidi (Image: JHNP)

Through the agreement, the two companies will share APR1400 operational experience at nuclear power plants in their respective countries. KHNP said the scope of the cooperation will gradually be expanded to include maintenance experience, the sharing of "urgent materials", and the joint purchase of spare components.

In a statement, a KHNP spokesperson said, "The signing of the agreement has created a foundation for APR1400 power plants [in both countries] to improve safety, reliability, efficiency and joint issues."

The first AP1400 reactor, unit 3 at KHNP's Shin Kori site in South Korea, reached first criticality in December 2015, was connected to the grid in January 2016 and entered commercial operation in December. A second unit, Shin Kori 4, is expected to start operating later this year, and two further AP1400s are under construction at Shin Hanul. South Korean regulators have approved the construction of two more AP1400 units at Shin Kori, while another two are also planned at Shin Hanul.

Construction of four APR1400 reactors at the UAE's Barakah site began in 2012. The plant is being built for Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (Enec) by a consortium led by the Korean Electric Power Company (Kepco). The first unit is scheduled to start up this year, with the other units following at yearly intervals until the plant is completed in 2020.

Enec established Nawah Energy Company last year as a joint venture with Kepco to operate and maintain Barakah units 1-4. The company is 82% owned by Enec and 18% owned by Kepco.

In July 2016, KHNP and Enec signed an Operating Support Services Agreement (OSSA) under which 400 nuclear experts from KHNP - including main control room operators and local operators - will support operations at the UAE site until 2030.

South Korea's APR1400 advanced pressurised water reactor design has evolved from the US System 80+ with enhanced safety and seismic robustness and was earlier known as the Korean Next-Generation Reactor. Design certification by the Korean Institute of Nuclear Safety was awarded in May 2003. Kepco and KHNP began the process of seeking US Nuclear Regulatory Commission approval for the design in 2013, submitting a revised version of its application in December 2014. The NRC accepted the application in March 2015.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News