South Korea enters race to build nuclear reactors in Poland

Nuclear power plants, Shin Kori 3, right, and Shin Kori 4 are under construction in Ulsan, South Korea. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)
By Grzegorz Adamczyk
3 Min Read

There is a new player joining the race to build nuclear energy capabilities in Poland, with Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power (KHNP) offering Poland a set of six APR1400 nuclear reactors and a proposal to provide experience and knowledge.

“Their capabilities in terms of security and economic efficiency have been confirmed by the years-long experience the South Korean company has when it comes to constructing and utilizing nuclear reactors,” the company stated, adding that it would offer Poland a transfer of technology which would ensure self-sustainability.

The executive vice president of the KHNP department for development of the international nuclear reactor business, Yoh-Shik Nam, explained that Korea has given itself access to technology and knowledge on the global energy market (in which suppliers are reluctant to transfer technology) with the company having already built nuclear reactors in other countries such as the United States, France and Canada.

“We did not stop at using international solutions, however, and have developed our own technology by conducting intensive research and development projects. Thanks to this, KHNP currently possesses advanced capabilities to construct nuclear reactors using our own unique technology and equipment,” he said.

Yoh-Shik Nam added that South Korea was not limited by any export restrictions when it came to nuclear technology.

KHNP informed that it plans to propose six APR1400 nuclear reactors for Poland of a total power of 8.4 gigawatts. Based on more than 50 years of experience obtained during successful projects to build nuclear reactors in both South Korea and abroad, the KHNP would like to share its knowledge in this area with Poland, which could help tackle climate changes and increase the scale of decarbonization.

The company also indicated that this sharing of experience would contribute to Poland’s abilities in terms of constructing nuclear power plants and reaching technological self-sustainability.

KHNP is certain that it will be able to fulfill the roadmap defined in the Polish Energy Policy until 2040 (PEP2040) and in the Polish Nuclear Energy Program (PPEJ).

In February 2021, the Polish-American international agreement on “cooperation towards the development of a civil nuclear program and the civil nuclear power sector in the Republic of Poland” was enacted. Based on this agreement, companies Westinghouse and Bechtel will propose an offer based on AP1000 Westinghouse reactors within 18 months.

In October 2021, French Électricité de France (EDF) proposed an initial non-binding offer which entails the construction and exploitation of four to six EPR nuclear reactors in two to three locations.

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