Uranium & Fuel

Urenco / European Enrichment Company Signs New Contract With South Korea

By David Dalton
26 March 2024

Seoul is bullish on nuclear power and is planning to build new reactors at home and abroad

European Enrichment Company Signs New Contract With South Korea
A signing ceremony took place in Brussels, with KHNP’s president and chief executive officer Jooho Whang and Urenco’s chief commercial officer Laurent Odeh. Courtesy Urenco/KHNP.

Urenco, the Anglo-German-Dutch provider of uranium enrichment services, has signed a new contract for the long-term supply of enrichment services with the operator of South Korea’s nuclear power plants.

The company said in a statement that the agreement with Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power company (KHNP) would help to provide a “secure, diverse and reliable supply” of nuclear fuel to South Korea, which has 26 nuclear plants in commercial operation and two under construction.

“The agreement with the KHNP, with whom Urenco has worked since 1993, will see us remain a major supplier for them well into the next decade,” Urenco said.

KHNP’s president and chief executive officer Jooho Wang said KHNP is aiming to build a number of new nuclear power plants at home and abroad, and cooperation with reliable partners such as Urenco will be “very important as demand for nuclear power increases internationally”.

In December 2023, Urenco approved an investment aimed at expanding the production capacity of its existing plant in Almelo, the Netherlands.

According to Urenco, the expansion is a response to an expected long-term increase in customer demand as more countries and utilities turn to nuclear power for the first time or seek to extend and diversify fuel supplies for existing nuclear reactor fleets.

The expansion marked the third investment under Urenco's capacity programme.

South Korera’s president Yoon Suk Yeol has pledged to revive the country’s nuclear power industry by promising about $2.4bn (€2.2bn) investment in nuclear projects and extending $750m in financing.

Yoon has also vowed to boost the country’s technological capability for small modular reactors (SMR) and introduce the country’s first SMR model, the i-SMR, by 2028.

Former president Moon Jae-in’s policy had been to retire the country’s commercial reactors, which supply about 30% of its electricity generation, and refrain from building new ones.

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