South Korea’s KEPCO explores UK nuclear project, following Hitachi’s retreat

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In a potential bid to bolster its global energy footprint, Korea Electric Power Corp (KEPCO) is reportedly in talks with the British government to construct a nuclear power station off the coast of Wales.

A spokesperson for the Department for Energy Security confirmed that Andrew Bowie, Britain’s minister for nuclear and renewables, is scheduled to meet with KEPCO in London in the coming week. While the purpose of the meeting remains undisclosed, the spokesperson emphasized the UK’s commitment to revitalizing its nuclear sector, highlighting the securing of two sites for new projects. The spokesperson expressed optimism about Wylfa’s potential and welcomed all parties interested in investing in UK nuclear projects.

Despite these promising developments, KEPCO has yet to provide official commentary on the matter, leaving many details of the potential partnership uncertain. However, a British government official indicated that Energy Minister Claire Coutinho would “very much welcome all interest” in nuclear investment, suggesting a receptive attitude toward KEPCO’s overtures.

The news comes in the wake of Japan’s Hitachi scrapping its plans to build a nuclear power plant at the Wylfa site in 2020, citing a failure to secure adequate private investment or government support. In response, Great British Nuclear, the public body tasked with meeting the country’s nuclear energy targets, announced its acquisition of land for nuclear development from Hitachi at Wylfa in Ynys Mon/Anglesey and Oldbury-on-Severn in Gloucestershire.

While the potential collaboration between KEPCO and the UK government holds promise for both parties, the road ahead may be fraught with challenges. The failed attempt by Hitachi underscores the complexities and uncertainties inherent in nuclear energy projects, particularly in securing financing and regulatory approvals. As KEPCO’s discussions with British officials progress, the outcome will be closely watched by industry observers and stakeholders alike, eager to see if this partnership can turn the tide for nuclear power in the UK.

(Source: Financial Times | Energy Live News | The Guardian)

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