KEPCO Eyes Share in U.S. Uranium Enrichment Firm

      November 21, 2012 12:17

      A U.S. company that specializes in enriching uranium has asked Korea to buy a stake as it expands a plant in New Mexico, a government source said Tuesday. Korea Electric Power Corp. is studying the prospect of buying into URENCO U.S.A.

      The government views the offer as a potential avenue to bypassing ongoing talks with Washington on a bilateral pact signed in 1974 that prohibits Korea from enriching uranium and reprocessing spent nuclear fuel rods.

      Some U.S. experts also apparently support the potential deal since it could reduce the list of Seoul's demands in talks to revise the atomic energy pact.

      One U.S. nuclear expert who participated in a joint Korea-U.S. nuclear energy conference in Washington already proposed Korea buy a stake in URENCO's New Mexico facility or the U.S. Enrichment Corporation as an alternative to revising the bilateral pact.

      Korea feels purchasing stakes in foreign enrichment facilities would guarantee stable supplies of the radioactive material.

      In 2009, Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power acquired a 2.5 percent stake in French nuclear power company Areva.

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