저작권자 © Korea IT Times 무단전재 및 재배포 금지
Careful preparation essential for the future of new nuclear power By Lee Mun-ki Korea, which became the 21st country in the world to possess nuclear power with the coming into operation of the KORI nuclear power plant in April, 1978, has accomplished enormous development in the nuclear field over the past 20 years. In particular, the past 10 years deserve full recognition as a reconstruction period of nuclear power when remarkable growth was attained in all fields of nuclear power such as nuclear atomic fuel, radiation use and patent applications. Korea's nuclear power technology has made great strides in both the generation of electric power and non-generation of electric power, as in the case of nuclear atomic fuel parts. We realize localization of components and processes by developing independently Korea-model amelioration nuclear fuel (PLUS7), while exporting the core components to the United States and Brazil. Moreover, we launched nuclear power technology in seven regions of the country by localizing the 13MeV cyclotron, which supplies a radioactive isotope to PET (Positron emission tomography). The projects on which the Ministry of Science & Technology, Republic of Korea (MOST) places the highest priority is to acquaint the world with our high technology level and to pioneer exports. Since Korea started nuclear exports for the first time in 1993 it is posting exports worth $350 million to date. These exports are the positive outcome of the government's firm technology development, bold investment efforts and its export support policy. Building further on this, Korea has been exporting technology to Taiwan, the United States, China, Kazakhstan, and Canada. Thus far, the direction of nuclear international collaboration has been attained with priority given to policy cooperation and technology collaboration, but from now on is the time when we should launch full-scale technology export. Aware of these problems and challenges, MOST has set up a nuclear technology export support team. In the years to come, MOST is poised to provide active support to joint overseas marketing of domestic business circles, plus identifying promising export items through continuous overseas market surveys and spotting demand trends in the overall nuclear power field. Of course, MOST will not spare active support for the sake of technology development of corporations as well, the first stage of technology export. Korea's nuclear industry is about to enter a new revival period right now. Through overseas exports of nuclear technology, our nuclear power will herald a new spring. MOST plans to make nuclear power become a new value-added industry, while on the other hand identifying export opportunities to developing countries as well as advanced countries at the same time through its existing export support system. In addition, MOST will promote the next-generation nuclear reactor's core technology development, nuclear power technology and product export by investing around 1 trillion won (about $1.05 billion), setting up the third middle & long-term plan ranging from 2007 through 2011. Now is the time when we should carefully prepare for the future of Korea's nuclear power industry.