As part of the globalization strategy, Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power (KHNP) will advance its earlier plan for 100 percent nuclear technology independence by October 2012. At present, its nuclear technology independence ratio stands at around 95 percent.
Along with this, KHNP aims to complete the standard design technology development of "APR+," a 1500MW-class domestically produced large-scale nuclear reactor, by the end of 2012. APR+ is a nuclear reactor one step upgraded from the "APR1400," the model Korea exported to United Arab Emirates (UAE), in terms of economic feasibility and safety.
"At present, KHNP is building eight nuclear power plants simultaneously, while preparing for construction of two new plants," a KHNP representative said. He went on to say, "We will exert best efforts to finish the construction of the nuclear power plants under the schedule through persistent improvement of construction techniques and management ability."
At the same time, KHNP will enhance managerial efficiency through implementation of performance-centered business department system. In particular, it will introduce 6 sigma and Tear Down Redesign (TDR) systems to enhance efficiency and bolster corporate competitiveness.
Major business targets for 2010
At the end of last year, South Korea won the nuclear power plant construction project from UAE, beating its foreign rivals such as France, the U.S. and Japan. At that time, UAE ENEC CEO Mohammed Al-Hammadi said at a press conference, "The Korean consortium led by KEPCO received the highest appraisal among bidders for the project in terms of safety. The biggest merits of Korean-made nuclear power plants are global-level safety and operational ability."
"Related to this, KHNP will make all-out efforts to secure safety for nuclear power plants. By doing so, we can strengthen our global competitiveness and enhance the status of nuclear power generation as environment-friendly energy," said the spokesman. It goes without saying that safety operation is the core of sustainable development in the nuclear power generation business, he said, adding that KHNP will upgrade the safety level further to secure an unswerving top position in the world in an era of nuclear Renaissance.
Development of the new light water reactor APR1400
The model Korea suggested to win the nuclear power plant construction project from UAE was the third-generation new light water reactor APR1400. "The period for construction of Korea's nuclear power plant and relevant technology development could be classified into four stages," stated a spokesperson.
In the 1970s, Korea built the Gori No. 1 nuclear power plant for the first time in the country as an initial stage of introducing nuclear energy. In the 1980s, the stage of accelerating localization of nuclear technology, the nation adopted an installment contract method, under which the government allowed domestic companies to participate in the construction of nuclear power plants and acquire nuclear technology from foreign companies. During the period, the nation built eight nuclear power plants, including Weolseong No. 1 plant, Gori No. 2 and 4 plants, Yeonggwang No. 1 and 2 plants, Uljin No. 1 and 2 plants.
In the 1990s, Korea attained its technology independence target through Korean standard-type nuclear power plant design, and built 11 plants, including Yeonggwang No. 3 plant. In the 2000s, it finally developed the third-generation new light water reactor APR1400, which obtained a design certification from domestic regulatory institution in May 2002. It launched the construction of Singori No. 3 and 4 plants in 2007 for commercial operation in 2013 and 2014, respectively. KHNP also has a plan to conduct commercial operation for Sinuljin No. 1 and 2 plants in 2015 and 2016, respectively.
KHNP ranks first in managerial appraisal
Under the catchphrase, "the best power generation company placing emphasis on human beings, environment and technology", KHNP has been exerting doubled efforts to faithfully fulfill its social responsibility as the hub of environment-friendly power industry, proclaimed the spokesperson.
Even in the situation that Korea was suffering from the U.S.-sparked financial crisis, KHNP has kept the nuclear power plant utilization ratio at 90 percent since the latter half of the 1990s. The comparable ratio stood at 91.7 percent in Korea in 2009, much higher than the world average of 79.3 percent thanks to improved nuclear power plant operation technology, insisted the spokesperson. A one percent rise in the nuclear power plant utilization ratio brings about economic benefits amounting to about KRW60 billion.
"Boosted by such excellent business performance, KHNP ranked first in terms of managerial appraisals among power generation companies for the second consecutive year," said the spokesperson. KHNP also ranked first in the appraisal of integrity for the third consecutive year, securing its top position as an ethical company.