Two South Korean national financial institutions - Korea Trade Insurance Corporation (K-Sure) and the Export-Import Bank of Korea (KEXIM) - have each entered into agreements with Holtec International and Hyundai Engineering & Construction to provide financial support for SMR-160 projects around the world.

From Left to Right: Hyundai E&C President and CEO Young-joon Yoon; Holtec President and CEO Kris Singh; Korean Minister of Trade, Industry and Energy Chang-yang Lee; and K-Sure President and Chairman Inho Lee (Image: Holtec)

Holtec participated in the Korea-US Advanced Industry and Clean Energy Partnership Event hosted by Korea's Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy in Washington, DC on 25 April.

The signing of a collaboration agreement with Hyundai E&C and K-Sure was announced during the event. The agreement calls for "an expansion of nuclear power plant deployments to underpin the global growth of clean energy and decarbonisation of the environment", Holtec said.

"It is expected that this agreement will accelerate the global advancement of the Korean nuclear power plant business by establishing a multilateral support system of public financial institutions for technical cooperation between Hyundai E&C and Holtec," Hyundai E&C said.

On the same day, Holtec and Hyundai E&C signed a financial support agreement with KEXIM to "facilitate the adoption of SMR-160 reactors around the globe promoting the urgently needed decarbonisation of the environment".

From Left to Right: Holtec President and CEO Kris Singh; KEXIM President and Chairman Hee-sung Yoon; and Hyundai E&C President and CEO Young-joon Yoon (Image: Holtec)

Holtec's 160 MWe factory-built SMR is a pressurised light-water reactor using low-enriched uranium fuel. The reactor's core and all nuclear steam supply system components would be located underground, and the design incorporates a wealth of features including a passive cooling system that would be able to operate indefinitely after shutdown. No active components, such as pumps, are needed to run the reactor, which does not need any on-site or off-site power to shut down and to dissipate decay heat.

The design has completed the first phase of the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission's three-phase pre-licensing vendor design review and is undergoing pre-licensing activities with the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Holtec has also applied for a Generic Design Assessment of the SMR-160 in the UK.

In November 2021, Holtec and Hyundai E&C signed a teaming agreement under which Hyundai E&C will perform the detailed design of the balance of plant and prepare the full plant construction specification for the SMR-160, which Holtec has been developing since 2010. The Korean company will also develop the integrated 3D plant model for construction using its Building Information Modelling management process. The partnership also provides for project delivery rights for Hyundai, subject to certain provisions.

Last October, the two companies agreed to accelerate the programme to complete the balance of plant design of the remaining systems and structures for the SMR-160.

At the same event in Washington, DC, Doosan Enerbility and KEXIM signed a memorandum of understanding to cooperate with NuScale Power, while SK and Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power agreed to collaborate with TerraPower.

"The impressive show of support to the global cause for expansion of clean energy generation to bend the curve of environmental pollution that has been exhibited today by South Korea's government and its dynamic industry bodes well for humankind's struggle against global warming and degradation of our fragile habitat," said Holtec President and CEO Kris Singh. "We hope that the vigour of the US-ROK partnership on display today in Washington, DC will help energise support for nuclear energy in other industrial nations."

Researched and written by World Nuclear News

Date: Thursday, 04 May 2023
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