Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power said on April 19 that the company is developing an innovative small modular reactor (SMR) with strong economic feasibility and safety.
KHNP is carrying out a project to improve the System-integrated Modular Advanced Reactor (SMART), an integral-type small reactor developed by the Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute (KAERI) after 19 years of research since 1997. The reactor received the first-ever Standard Design Approval (SDA) from the Korean regulatory body in 2012.
KHNP is working with KAERI to obtain a license for the improved SMART by 2028 and plans to enter the nuclear power plant export market in earnest.
To preempt the global SMR market, which is expected to expand around 2030, all countries with nuclear power plant design technology such as the United States and Russia already have developed or are developing their own models. An SMR is a small nuclear power plant that produces less than 300 MW of electric power. It is a plant that can be manufactured at a factory and assembled on a site and can be used in various ways, for instance, as distributed power sources free from a power grid and for hydrogen production and seawater desalination.
Meanwhile, a parliamentary forum on SMR, which is sponsored by KHNP and KAERI, was launched on April 14 with the attendance of lawmakers, officials from the nuclear power generation industry, academia, research labs, the government and related agencies. Rep. Lee Won-wook of the Democratic Party and Rep. Kim Young-shik of the People Power Party head up the forum as co-charimen. At the inaugural forum, opinions were shared on the need for SMR development, the effects of SMR development, SMR competitiveness and business strategy.