Korean All-in-one SMR Won World’s First Standard Design Approval

Kwon Dong-joon Jul 05, 2012

South Korea’s homegrown SMART reactor has obtained a Standard Design Approval (SDA). With its all-in-one small- and medium-sized nuclear reactor (SMR) winning the world’s first approval, South Korea has emerged as a nation with the world’s best technology in the field of SMRs.

A consortium of the Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute, or KAERI (President: Jung Yeun-ho) and the Korea Electric Power Corporation, or KEPCO announced on July 4 that the Nuclear Safety and Security Commission (NSSC) has issued an SDA for its SMART reactor.

The SMART reactor has a small capacity of 100MW, one-tenth of the 1000MW capacity generated by a large-scale nuclear power plant. It is a multi-purpose nuclear reactor that can be used for electric power production, district heating, process heat supply, and sea water desalination. The energy from the reactor can be used to evaporate sea water into fresh water. One SMART reactor can meet the demand for both electricity (90,000 KW) and water (40,000 tons per day) consumption of a city with a population of 100,000.

The reactor development started in 1997. Since then, it has taken 15 years in all to complete it. A total bankroll of 310.3 billion (148.8 billion won from the government and 161.5 billion won from the private sector) won has been poured into the project. An estimated 1,500 researchers and developers participated in it every year. KAERI president Jung Yeun-ho expressed his expectations, saying, “The US, Russia, Argentina, and other countries have an interest in development of SMRs. The latest approval has paved the way for South Korea to dominate the global SMR market in advance until 2050, which is valued at approximately 350 trillion won.”

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