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Nuclearelectrica and Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power sign nuclear cooperation deal

On Wednesday (28 June), Romanian state-owned nuclear energy company, Nuclearelectrica and Korean nuclear and hydroelectric energy company, Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power (KHNP) signed a Memorandum of Understanding on nuclear fuel cooperation.

The agreement is part of both parties’ strategy to further develop fuel processing and ensure the resilience of fuel production capacities, with a view to the long-term operation of current nuclear power plants and future energy production capacities.

As of December 2022, Nuclearelectrica owns the complete processing cycle for technical uranium concentrate, enabling the production of sinterable UO2 powder. The Feldioara branch of Nuclearelectrica, known as the Feldioara Uranium Concentrate Processing Plant, is currently functioning at optimum levels. The company has plans to upgrade and modernise the production line, expanding its involvement in nuclear fuel management and services.

In addition, the Memorandum expressed the shared intent of both parties to collaborate in studying, planning, and developing technical processing activities related to uranium concentrates. This cooperation would seek to potentially qualify Nuclearelectrica as a supplier of sinterable UO2 powder to KHNP, while also exploring opportunities for joint efforts in the manufacturing of nuclear fuel bundles.

In December 2022, Nuclearelectrica completed the acquisition of assets from the technical uranium concentrate processing flow from CNU Sucursala Feldioara. The strategic decision to acquire part of the assets of the Feldioara Branch was aimed at preserving and developing the integrated Romanian nuclear fuel cycle and ensuring the resilience of Nuclearelectrica’s production capacities. In the context of expanding the production of the nuclear power plant at Cernavoda with two more units at the level of 2030/2031, it was important for us to ensure the security of the production of fuel bundles and the optimal operation of FCN Pitesti and the nuclear power plant at Cernavoda,” said Cosmin Ghiță, General Manager of Nuclearelectrica.

“By working with highly experienced partners such as KHNP, we want to further develop our fuel management and production capabilities, both for internal needs and to be able to export our services. The implementation of this MoU gives us long-term resilience and security, and I thank KHNP for taking our already strong partnership to a new level of excellence,” Mr Ghiță added.

KHNP is the owner and operator of Canada Deuterium Uranium (CANDU) reactors in North Korea. The company has the “technological knowledge and experience” in the production of Candu 6 (37M) advanced fuel beams, and is interested in diversifying its sources of carbon dioxide powder uranium with natural isotopic composition for its needs, Nuclearelectrica said.

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