New agreement brings North Korean reactors a step nearer

2 January 2001

NORTH KOREA A contract to build two light water reactors in North Korea has been signed by South Korea's state-owned Korea Electric Power Corporation (Kepco), and a consortium of four South Korean companies.

The four companies are Hyundai Engineering and Construction, which holds a 50% stake in the consortium; Dong Ah Construction, which holds 20%; and Daewoo and Korea Heavy Industries, which each holds 15%.

The new agreement follows a contract signed in 1999 between Kepco and the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organisation (KEDO), in which Kepco became the prime constructor for te two-unit station. KEDO itself is a US-led consortium formed to provide North Korea with the two-unit station plus fuel oil supplies until they were completed. In return, North Korea agreed to put its nuclear weapons programme on hold, and not to complete a gas-graphite reactor and reprocessing plant that were under construction at Nyongbyon (see NEI, October 2000, p34).

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