South Korea's Minister of Trade, Industry and Energy, Lee Chang-yang, during a three-day visit to the Czech Republic, sought to promote Korea’s nuclear expertise hoping to win a new NPP project, his office said. South Korea is bidding for the project to build an additional reactor at the Dukovany NPP. During a meeting with his Czech counterpart, Jozef Sikela. Lee stressed the advanced nuclear power technologies and management prowess South Korea had proved in constructing four units at the Barakah NPP in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) after it won the contract in 2009.

"A nuclear power generation project requires more than a decade for construction and involves operations for more than 60 years. South Korea is a reliable partner in terms of economic feasibility, safety, and ensuring the construction period," Lee said.

The Czech Republic launched a tender for the Dukovany project in March, and Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power KHNP), US-based Westinghouse and France's EDF have passed the security appraisal.

Participants have to submit preliminary bids by November.

During the meeting, the two ministers also agreed to boost cooperation on small modular reactors (SMRs) and hydrogen, as well as in other key industries. South Korea's new Yoon Suk-yeol government has been actively pushing to revive its nuclear energy industry, reversing the former government's nuclear phase-out policy.

Lee also met with Milos Vystrcil, the Czech Senate president, and explained Korea’s nuclear energy policy and technology capabilities, requesting parliamentary cooperation to extend bilateral industry ties, according to the ministry.   

On 27 June, some 400 officials from the Korean and Czech nuclear power generation sectors held a joint session during which they signed a total of 10 memoranda of understanding on nuclear energy and hydrogen, which involved nine South Korean companies and institutions and 21 Czech entities, the ministry said. Following his talks in the Czech Republic Lee will pay a two-day stay to Poland, which is also planning NPP construction.

Image: Lee Chang-yang meets with his Czech counterpart, Jozef Sikela, in a bid to promote South Korea's nuclear expertise in the hope of winning a contract to build an additional reactor at the Dukovany NPP (photo courtesy of Yonhap News)