Tuesday, June 15, 2010

South Korea to enter small reactor business

South Korea is panning to enter the small reactor market. The South Korean Ministry of Education, Science and Technology announced on Monday that a consortium of South Korean corporations is developing a small (100 MWe) reactor design, intended primarily for under industrialized nations. The system integrated modular advanced reactors ( SMART) is intended primarily for the international market. The reactor is expected to sell for about $400 million, and thus would have a cost that is roughly competitive with with the Babcock & Wilcox mPower reactor. It is designed to provide heat for desalination, as well as electricity.

Korea which wisely has a national industrial policy. unlike the United States, whose lack of industrial policy has had disastrous consequences in the last generation, plans to be one of the three largest reactor exporters by 2030. in order to accomplish this goal, the Koreans would need a product line, which included both small and standard size reactors.

The Ministry of Education, Science and Technology plans to inject about $80 million into the $150 million dollar project. The state controlled Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute, has organized the project that involves some 13 separate south Korean businesses. The project is far sighted because in the current business climate many world and South Korean businesses are reluctant to invest in new large scale industrial projects. South Korean reports indicates that the SMART will probably include Generation III+ cost saving and safety features.

The SMART marks the third small reactor proposed for entry into the global nuclear market. B&W is developing a similar size LWR, the mPower, while the Indians are marketing their well tested 200 MWe PHWR. In addition, the Chinese are developing a PBMR in the 100 MW to 200 MW range, and new mini reactor projects are popping up in the United States and globally.


donb said...

Charles Barton wrote:
Korea which wisely has a national industrial policy, unlike the United States, whose lack of industrial policy has had disastrous consequences in the last generation...

The United States does have an industrial policy:
1. Manufacturing industry is a tax cash cow. Corporate income taxes in the United States are higher than most industrialized countries. The thought is to get revenue as soon as possible, rather than getting increased taxes in the future from investments in high risk, high return projects (e.g., advanced nuclear energy sources).
2. Service jobs are just as good as(if not better than) manufacturing jobs. This seems to be the attitude of those in the financial "industry" who make a really good living from moving money around, taking their cut from each move. Money has been confused with wealth.
3. As a consequence of #2 above, it is best to import manufactured goods from low wage countries in order to have the lowest prices.

While the above may not be found in some formal statement of industrial policy, it is what is going on.

Charles Barton said...

Donb, perhaps what I should have said is "Korea has a rational Industrial policy, unlike . . ."

DocForesight said...

I thought the agenda of pushing new "clean" energy (that remains ill- defined and, in the case of transportation fuels, undiscovered) was the policy.

It would seem to me that the diverse promotion of wind and solar on one hand and nuclear loan guarantees on the other is an example of the disconnect to the reality of what is needed, a "rational" policy.

Anonymous said...

OMG. Thats expensive.
And then wasting the energy for desal? It will take another 5-8 years to develope, market and sell. It will be knocked out by renewables by that time.
The nations that it is intended for do not have the grid for such units.

Kitegen is going to start shipping of 3MW Stem units for under 900.000$ next year.
Even at a 50% cf you could built double the nameplate c and storage.

Desal is cheaper by OTEC or Seawatergreenhouse.


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