March 04, 2015 10:21
Korea and Saudi Arabia on Tuesday signed a memorandum of understanding on the sale of at least two nuclear power plants to the Middle Eastern country.
Both sides will conduct feasibility studies by 2018 and build two System-integrated Modular Advanced Reactor or SMART plants at an estimated cost of US$2 billion. They then hope to sell such plants to third countries.
They will also set up university programs in the fundamentalist Islamic country to train reactor technicians.
Developed by the Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute, the SMART reactor is the world's smallest nuclear reactor, just one tenth the size of a conventional facility, and was designed primarily for export.
The MOU marks the second export contract for SMART reactors. The first was signed by former President Lee Myung-bak with the United Arab Emirates in 2009.
A Cheong Wa Dae official said, "Saudi Arabia plans to build 12 to 18 nuclear power plants by 2040, and the first order could be placed as early as next year."
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