U.K., South Korea form new clean energy partnership

November 28, 2023, 9:30AMNuclear News
U.K. energy security secretary Claire Coutinho and South Korean minister for trade, industry, and energy Moon Kyu Bang, following the signing of the U.K.-ROK Clean Energy Partnership. (Photo: @ClaireCoutinho/X)

The United Kingdom has announced a new partnership with South Korea to accelerate the clean energy transition by strengthening cooperation on low-carbon technologies, domestic climate policies, and civil nuclear energy.

Signed November 22 in London by British energy security and net zero secretary Claire Coutinho and South Korean minister for trade, industry, and energy Moon Kyu Bang, the partnership promotes U.K.-South Korean business collaboration, addressing barriers to trade and encouraging mutual development of the two nations’ energy sectors.

Nuclear cooperation: Along with the partnership agreement, multiple nuclear-specific memoranda of understanding were signed last week, including one between the U.K.’s Department for Energy Security and Net Zero and South Korea’s Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Energy on civil nuclear energy cooperation; one between the U.K.’s Nuclear Decommissioning Authority and the Korea Radioactive Waste Agency; and one between the U.K.’s Nuclear Industry Association and the Korea Nuclear Association for International Cooperation.

According to the announcement, based on these MOUs, the parties will “seek to maintain and develop the broadest possible relationship on civil nuclear cooperation, including active use of the U.K.-ROK Civil Nuclear Energy Dialogue. This includes exploring potential opportunities for deeper collaboration on nuclear new build programs; strengthening fuel supply chains; safety, security, and nonproliferation; decommissioning and waste management; and third-country collaboration.”

Further, the announcement stated, the parties are to “explore collaboration opportunities on the development of gigawatt-scale nuclear reactors, small modular reactors, and other advanced reactors, in both countries and in third-country markets, and will also seek to explore potential opportunities to cooperate on financing and funding models for nuclear projects.”

Signer’s language: Coutinho noted that the two nations “already have a strong relationship on energy security and tackling climate change,” adding that the new partnership “will see us collaborate even more closely, driving forward shared plans to accelerate clean energy sources, like renewables and nuclear power.”

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