The South Korean company, Hyundai Engineering is considering the possibility of building small nuclear reactors (MMRs) in Uzbekistan in cooperation with the Korean Atomic Energy Institute (KAERI). The company has signed a memorandum of cooperation with KAERI on the export of said MMRs noting their economic efficiency in comparison with traditional nuclear power plants.
According to the memorandum, KAERI will be responsible for the development of projects for future reactors and their licensing, whilst Hyundai will be responsible for business development, financing, procurement and construction, and installation work.
KAERI has been developing modular reactors based on integrated systems (SMART) using cooling systems with high-pressure water and a capacity of 110 MW of energy since 1997. This model is ten times smaller than conventional nuclear power plants, meaning it can be built in remote and mountainous areas.
In 2021, Hyundai Engineering signed a memorandum of understanding with the Government of the Province of Alberta in Canada for the construction of a small modular reactor. A feasibility study for the project is currently being prepared.
“After our project in Canada, where we celebrated the transition of electric generation to small modular reactors, we are considering expanding operations to Uzbekistan, the USA and India,” said a representative of the company.