Nuclear expert Whang Joo-ho has taken charge of the KHNP. Photo courtesy of KHNP

New chief offers to create a miracle once again

Nuclear expert Whang Joo-ho took office as the 10th CEO of Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power (KHNP) on Aug. 22, offering to create a miracle once again.

In an inauguration ceremony held at the state-backed outfit’s office in Gyeongju, the new chief should help the country become a top nuclear powerhouse.

“We shall write a new history in the exportation of nuclear power with our potential and pride that made us one of the leading nations in the field,” Whang said. “We will create a miracle once again and make KHNP raise our national status.”

Stressing that nuclear energy safety is life, Whang vowed to operate the plant at the highest level of safety.

“We shall pioneer overseas markets and target the exportation of 10 units for the shaping of a new future, the elevation of nuclear power safety and competitiveness, strengthening of the foundation of future growth, creation of new growth power with eco-friendly energy, dynamic innovative growth, and companionship with citizens,” he noted.

According to Whang, for the safe operation of the plant, the parts procurement process must be improved for prompt delivery when needed, Shin-Hanul units 3 and 4 must be thoroughly prepared, and citizens’ receptivity must be improved to continue to operate 10 units.

“We need to expand our customer base and exert our utmost efforts to consolidate and enact rules and regulations on the management of spent nuclear fuel rods,” he said.

“The SMR project must be vigorously undertaken, and we should work hard for nuclear hydrogen production to benefit from the Hydrogen Act as clean hydrogen.”

He noted that creating a new growth engine using eco-friendly energy requires expanding overseas hydropower projects, modernizing and localizing hydropower technologies, and improving regional communication for the successful construction of pumped storage hydropower stations.

“For dynamic innovative growth, we need fiscal soundness in line with our government’s Innovative Guidelines for Public Offices and strengthened preventive internal control system for the effective operation of the organizations,” he said.

Whang has been a professor of Nuclear Engineering at Kyung Hee University since 1991 and is considered one of the foremost experts in nuclear power in Korea.

He had held positions such as a member of the National Energy Committee, 15th president of the Korea Institute of Energy Research, 17th chairperson of the Korean Energy Society, and 29th president of the Korean Nuclear Society.

He received his doctorate degree in Nuclear Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology in the United States and became one of the first Koreans to receive doctorate degrees in the fields of radiation and radioactive waste from overseas.

The publisher studied Korean history in Seoul and management of business administration in the United Kingdom. He has 20-year experiences in the media business. Kim can be reached at voc200@gmail.com or 82-2-6956-6698.