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KAERI and K.A.CARE signs Cooperation MOU

The Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute (KAERI) will step up cooperation with Saudi Arabia, as it signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for technical cooperation with the King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy (K.A.CARE) at the K.A.CARE headquarters in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on 10 December, 2013.

Under the MOU, KAERI will help Saudi Arabia in conducting a conceptual design of the facilities, operation, utilization and business model of NNL including a research reactor at KACARE and conducting first a joint feasibility study for SMART deployment in Saudi Arabia. The signing of the MOU was realized through Saudi Arabia’s high evaluation in the key role KAERI has played in achieving successful nuclear technological self-reliance in such areas as nuclear fuel localization, the development of the Korean Standard Nuclear Power Plant, and the indigenous design and construction of HANARO research reactor and an expression of the nation’s wish to benchmark KAERI’s experiences in the operation, management and industrialization of R&D gained through its more than 50-year history of Korea’s nuclear R&D activities. At the KAERI-KACARE meeting during the 2nd Roundtable Meeting on nuclear cooperation between Korea and Saudi Arabia held in Korea in June 2013, KAERI and KACARE agreed to collaborate on KACARE’s NNL establishment and on SMART partnership and development by signing the Minutes of Meeting on Nuclear Technology Cooperation.

Under the MOU, KAERI will share its experiences in the operation, management and industrialization of R&D for the establishment of NNL’s strategy while KAERI and KACARE agreed to launch a joint feasibility study for SMART deployment in Saudi Arabia by conducing such activities as electricity and fresh water demand analysis, site selection and an environmental impact assessment, an economic analysis, the development of a business plan and an exploratory strategy to establish a joint venture company.

As for human capacity development on related issues, KAERI and KACARE agreed to participate in the SMART R&D project by dispatching Saudi staff members to acquire the design and analysis methodology, and in the on-going NRR project by dispatching Saudi staff members for a whole understanding of the research reactor construction project in advance, and in on-the-Job training in HANARO for future operation and utilization.

Saudi Arabia has launched a project to construct a new city, King Abdullah City, in the south-west region of Riyadh. KACARE was established tin April 2010 by a royal decree of the King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, in a bid to play a central role in setting up a nuclear program in April 2010. KACARE has an ambitious vision on nuclear technology as a critical future energy source, focusing on human resource development, R&D capability and advanced research reactors for the nation’s technological self-reliance, in addition to the commercial deployment of large and small modular nuclear power plants for the major electricity supply.

It is expected that the MOU will provide significant momentum for KAERI to secure a bridgehead for its entrance into Saudi Arabia in areas of research and small modular reactors, to furthermore pave the way for KAERI to enter MENA(Middle East and North Africa) along with Saudi Arabia for the exportation of SMART into the region, and to strengthening the technical cooperation of the two countries.

Prior to the MOU ceremony, a kick-off meeting was held during the previous two (2) days at the K.A.CARE conference room, where experts from KAERI and KACARE had an extensive exchange and discussion on project details including a future timeframe as a follow up to the signing of the MOU and issues of mutual interest. A field trip to the NNL construction site followed.

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