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Nurturing Nuclear Scientists and Increasing Technological Cooperation for Enhancing Korea-Saudi Arabia Strategic Partnership (May 14)

- 3rd Korea-Saudi Arabia Nuclear Energy Joint Committee and 4th SMART Steering Committee convened

- Korea-Saudi Arabia joint nuclear research center to be established

- Graduation ceremony held for SMART* program trainees from Saudi Arabia

- Discuss how to collaborate in SMART nuclear power plant construction after completion of PPE**

* SMART(System-Integrated Modular Advanced Reactor): small modular reactor developed from 1997 by the collaboration between domestic research institutes including Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute and companies and obtained standard design approval in 2012

** PPE(Pre-Project Engineering) program(Dec. 2015Nov. 2018): joint project where Korea and Saudi Arabia co-invested total 130m dollars (100m dollars from Saudi Arabia, 30m dollars from Korea) and domestic businesses such as POSCO Engineering & Construction, Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction took part in design process.

The Ministry of Science and ICT (MSIT) announced that it convened “the 3rd Korea-Saudi Arabia Nuclear Energy Joint Committee” and “the 4th SMART Steering Committee Meeting” in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on May 13 (Mon).

The committee brought together high-ranking officials and experts in nuclear power and nuclear policies of the two countries were shared. The two sides also had an in-depth discussion on cooperation methods such as personnel development and SMART cooperation.

Prior to the committee, Vice Minister Mun Mi-ock of Science and ICT had a bilateral meeting with Dr. Khalid S. Al-Sultan, President of K.A.CARE* and had a common understanding on how cooperative project enabled by Korea-Saudi Arabia SMART partnership will contribute to development of nuclear industry.

* K.A.CARE (King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy)

The two sides pledged to carry out SMART construction and demonstration based on successful completion of PPE. They will further expand cooperation in SMART construction and nuclear technologies in order to advance into small and medium reactor market together.

3rd Korea-Saudi Arabia Nuclear Energy Joint Committee

First, in “the 3rd Korea-Saudi Arabia Nuclear Energy Joint Committee”, the Korean delegation was led by Vice Minister Mun Mi-ock of Science and ICT and the Saudi Arabia delegation was led by Dr. Khalid S. Al-Sultan, President of K.A.CARE and relevant institutes in nuclear power and experts took part.

Korean delegation: MSIT, MOTIE, KAERI, KIST, KONICOF, experts etc.

Saudi Arabia delegation: K.A.CARE, experts etc.

In the committee, both sides exchanged information on the latest nuclear energy policies and ongoing programs and shared cooperative activities and achievements such as nurturing nuclear energy experts and ways to foster collaboration in the future.

The two sides recognized the importance of both nuclear power plant construction and obtaining technological capacity in order to set up the industrial foundation for nuclear power and agreed to have detailed dialogue for comprehensive expansion of nuclear energy R&D cooperation.

The sides pledged to carry out technological cooperation for facilitating SMART construction and commercialization in ways such as standard design approval, providing technical support for SMART construction and approval in Saudi Arabia, development of next-generation SMART.

In particular, Korea and Saudi Arabia will set up a joint nuclear research center as to boost bilateral technological cooperation and agreed to sign an agreement on joint nuclear research center as soon as the administrative procedures of Saudi Arabia are finalized.

With the establishment of joint nuclear research center in the future, a long-term research cooperation framework between the two countries will be set up to promote nuclear technological capabilities of Saudi Arabia and contribute to expediting the process of technology development for domestic nuclear power.

4th Korea-Saudi Arabia SMART Steering Committee

In the 4th Korea-Saudi Arabia SMART Steering Committee, Director General of Space, Nuclear and Big Science Policy of MSIT and Dr. Maher Al-Odan, Chief Executive Officer of the Atomic Energy Sector of K.A.CARE of Saudi Arabia served as co-chairs and nuclear energy experts attended as commissioners to review SMART PPE outcomes and have a discussion on follow-up cooperative projects.

Korean delegation: MSIT, MOTIE, KAERI, KHNP, experts etc.

Saudi Arabia delegation: K.A.CARE, experts etc.

Before having an in-depth discussion, both countries shared the results from SMART PPE project and reaffirmed the successful completion of basic design of SMART which has reflected requirements of site in Saudi Arabia, writing approval documents and personnel training of Saudi Arabia.

Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy and Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power attended the meeting to have talks with Saudi Arabia on how to promote cooperation for facilitating SMART construction project.

The two sides agreed to jointly carry out standard design approval on PPE results for the SMART construction project to take a step forward.

They also agreed to work together for joint development of next-generation SMART with improved economic value and safety for increasing international competitiveness and gaining access to small modular reactor market in a preemptive manner.

Graduation Ceremony of Saudi Personnel Training Program

Meanwhile, along with the meeting, a graduation ceremony was held to celebrate the completion of two-and-a-half-year-long training program to educate 48 engineers dispatched from K.A.CARE, Saudi Arabia how to design SMART reactor at Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute, as part of SMART PPE project.

In her congratulatory remarks, Vice Minister Mun Mi-ock of Science and ICT acknowledged the efforts made by trainees* who have successfully completed the training course and asked them to play key roles for Saudi Arabia to attain self-reliance in nuclear technology and achieve a new growth path based on such experiences.

* Saudi trainees to have completed training program for two and a half years, starting from basic education on nuclear engineering to on-the-job training on design of SMART reactor

President of K.A.CARE said, “the trainees of the program are crucial assets of nuclear power industry of Saudi Arabia. As Korea is the strategic partner for achieving self-reliance in small modular reactors, Saudi Arabia would like to increase personnel development in order to learn from best practice and knowhow from Korea in areas such as SMART nuclear reactor development.”

Vice Minister Mun Mi-ock of Science and ICT added that “the hosting of the meeting has served as the opportunity to strengthen bilateral strategic partnership and expand its scope of cooperation by increasing technological cooperation such as personnel development and joint research and having close consultations on ways for working together in construction of SMART nuclear power plant in Saudi Arabia.”

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