Korea extends nuclear cooperation to Qatar

09 March 2015

South Korea and Qatar are to cooperate on the training of nuclear experts and on the construction of a research reactor under a memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed between the two countries yesterday.

South Korea-Qatar March 2015 - 460
Talks between Korea's President Park and Qatar's Emir Tamim (Image: Korean Presidential website)

During a meeting between South Korean president Park Guen-hye and Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani in Doha, an MOU was signed by Qatar's Ministry of Energy and Industry and Korea's Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning. The agreement calls for cooperation on human resources development and research on peaceful uses of nuclear energy.

Following the signing of the MOU, Park said in a statement she hoped "that substantive cooperation in the area would be broadened".

Tamim also said he looked forward to the expansion of cooperation on the basis of the MOU and expressed his interest in "importing reactors for research purposes to nurture experts in his country".

Park's visit to Qatar marked the final stop in her tour of the Middle East. Last week an MOU was signed 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). It was signed in Riyadh following a meeting between Park and Saudi's newly-crowned King Salman bin Abdulaziz al Saud.

Under the agreement, the two countries will conduct a three-year preliminary study to review the feasibility of constructing SMART reactors in Saudi Arabia. The cost of building the first SMART unit in Saudi Arabia is estimated at $1 billion, the agreement states.

Qatar has undertaken its own investigation into the viability of nuclear power and late in 2008 announced that there was not yet a strong case for proceeding, especially in the absence of modern 300 to 600 MWe reactors being available. However, in 2010 it raised the possibility of a regional project for nuclear generation.

In 2010 Qatar signed a nuclear cooperation agreement with Russia's Rosatom.

In December 2009, the UAE's Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (Enec) placed a $20 billion order with a consortium of South Korean companies for the construction of four APR1400 reactors. The contract marked South Korea's first overseas nuclear order.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News