Ground was broken on July 21 for the construction of a large-scale nuclear research center that will focus on three areas -- small modular reactors (SMRs), nuclear power plant safety and nuclear power plant dismantling.
The Ministry of Science and ICT and the Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute (KAERI) held a groundbreaking ceremony for the Munmu Daewang Science Research Center in Gyeongju, North Gyeongsang Province.
The new research center is located near the underwater tomb of King Munmu of the Silla Dynasty. The intention of using the king’s name for the research lab is to use the great king’s spirit as a driving force for the development of nuclear technology.
The new research center is a large-scale research facility that will be built for research, demonstration, and industrialization of future nuclear technologies, including nuclear power plant safety innovation based on data, networks and AI (D.N.A.), nuclear waste safety management and nuclear power plant dismantling technology, and SMRs.
Feasibility studies are underway for the three research areas. The nuclear power plant safety technology innovation project, for which 622.4 billion won has been earmarked, passed a feasibility study in June and will be carried out between 2022 and 2029. The nuclear power plant dismantlement technology development project (a budget of about 600 billion won) will undergo a feasibility study from September and be implemented from 2023 to 2030, while the SMR development project (a budget of 500 billion won) will be implemented from 2023 to 2028, if it passes a feasibility study in September.
The Ministry of Science and ICT and the KAERI plan to establish a total of 16 research and support facilities and regionally connected facilities by 2025, including state-of-the-art research facilities, radioactive waste analysis facilities, and education and cooperation facilities.
The ministry plans to make the Munmu Daewang Science Research Center core nuclear infrastructure by expanding its research and demonstration facilities for the safety and dismantlement of nuclear power plants and future innovative nuclear systems.