KHNP CEO Whang Joo-ho delivers a speech at the 2022 International SMR Conference on Sept. 4 at BEXCO in Busan. Photo courtesy of KHNP

Nuclear experts share experiences and insights

The Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power (KHNP) announced on Sept. 5 that it would hold the 2022 International SMR Conference this week at BEXCO in Busan.

During the event, which will continue from Sept. 4 through 7, participants are scheduled to discuss and share information on small modular reactors (SMRs) to expedite SMR projects in full swing.

SMRs are advanced nuclear reactors that have a power capacity of 300MW or less, which is far less than that of large conventional nuclear power reactors of which capacity exceeds 1,000MW.

SMRs are gaining attention recently as an alternative to support the nation to achieve net zero by 2050 while supplementing the supply instability of new and renewable energy.

As the Korean government has set securing the next-gen nuclear power reactor technologies as one of the national policies as a way to strengthen the ecosystem of the nuclear power industry, the conference has drawn attention.

In particular, KHNP is currently working on developing an “innovative small modular reactor (i-SMR).” The i-SMR project jointly submitted by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy and the Ministry of Science and ICT for the government-sponsored project has passed the preliminary feasibility study in June.

Through the 2022 International SMR Conference, KHNP intends to extend cooperation with SMR-related agencies and institutes in Korea and overseas and present a blueprint for SMR development in Korea. 

Lim Chae-young, Senior Vice President for Innovative Nuclear Reactor Systems of Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute, and Neil M. Wilmshurst, Senior Vice President of Electric Power Research Institute of the U.S., will give their keynote speeches.

In the tech session, global implementation and development cases of SMRs and the status of preparations for the approval of SMR designs by Korea and the International Atomic Energy Agency will be shared.

In addition, the KHNP said that experts from companies, universities, and research institutes would talk about policies and tasks for the successful development of SMRs in the panel discussion session. Expert’s explanation of the i-SMR model and related videos are prepared for visitors as well. 

“I hope that this international SMR conference will serve as a venue for in-depth discussions among experts from various sectors on the development and use of SMRs at home and abroad as SMRs are increasingly considered as an important energy source to achieve carbon neutrality,” KHNP CEO Whang Joo-ho said.

“KHNP will strive to speed up the development of SMRs in Korea to invigorate the ecosystem surrounding the nuclear power industry along with the construction of Shin-Hanul Units 3 & 4.”