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South Korea says minister, British counterpart discussed nuclear power cooperation
December 16, 2016 / 2:45 AM / 9 months ago

South Korea says minister, British counterpart discussed nuclear power cooperation

Britain's Greg Clark Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy speaks at a signing ceremony in London to finalise the deal to build Hinkley Point, the first new UK nuclear power station in a generation, September 29, 2016. REUTERS/Philip Toscano/Pool

SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korea’s energy minister Joo Hyung-hwan discussed cooperation on British nuclear energy projects in a meeting in London on Thursday with Britain’s business minister Greg Clark, South Korea’s energy ministry said in a statement.

The statement from Seoul didn’t disclose details of discussions on nuclear energy, but said the two countries will hold a follow-up meeting in the first half of next year.

A British government statement issued said the two countries underlined a commitment at the meeting to keep working together on science, innovation and technology, without mentioning nuclear power.

Korea, Asia’s fourth-largest economy and the world’s fifth-biggest user of nuclear power, is keen to export its nuclear reactor technology, developed through state-run utility Korea Electric Power Corp (KEPCO).

Earlier this year, Britain gave the green light to the $24 billion Hinkley Point C project, its first new nuclear power plant in decades.

Along with that project, NuGen, a joint venture between Toshiba and French utility company Engie, plans to build three reactors at the Moorside site on the coast of Cumbria, in northwest England.

According to Seoul’s statement on Friday, Korea’s energy minister also had a meeting with NuGen chief Tom Samson during his British visit. The minister said Korean participation in Nugen projects would contribute to their success.

Earlier this year a person familiar with the situation told Reuters KEPCO had engaged in talks with Toshiba and Engie about buying a stake NuGen. A NuGen spokesman declined to comment on whether talks were taking place with KEPCO, which also declined to comment.

Reporting by Jane Chung; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell

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