South Korea plans to set up a joint nuclear energy research centre in Saudi Arabia, the South Korean Ministry of Science and Technology said on 14 May.
The project aims to boost cooperation in nuclear R&D between the two countries, which are expected to sign an agreement to establish the centre after administrative procedures have been completed, Yonhap news agency reported.
The ministry said it had discussed setting up the centre with the Saudi officials on the sidelines of the third Korea–Saudi Arabia Joint Nuclear Committee. The agreement was drawn up following broad exchange on South Korea’s System-Integrated Modular Advanced Reactor (Smart) programme, “after the completion of a $130 million pre-project engineering endeavour carried out by the two sides from 2015 to 2018”.
Saudi Arabia and South Korea agreed on technical cooperation to support the creation and licensing of a small Smart nuclear reactor and the development of the next generation of Smart reactors. The modular reactor is a multipurpose unit developed by the Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute and was designed specifically to win orders from countries that need small and medium reactors.