Advancing US-ROK cooperation on nuclear energy

The Shin Kori Number 4 reactor of state-run utility Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) is seen in Ulsan, South Korea. Picture taken September 3, 2013. REUTERS/Lee Jae-Won

The United States and the Republic of Korea (ROK) are longstanding civil nuclear partners. Although nuclear power is a key component of each country’s electricity generation, the nuclear energy industries in both countries are struggling. The new Atlantic Council report, Advancing US-ROK Cooperation on Nuclear Energy, by Stephen S. Greene, examines how both countries can work together to revitalize the nuclear energy industry in each country. A robust domestic nuclear industry and civil nuclear export program are each crucial elements of the fight against climate change and in international diplomacy. This new report argues that research and development, bilateral trade, and the sale of nuclear energy technologies to third countries represent opportunities for bilateral cooperation that will strengthen each country’s nuclear energy industry.

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Nuclear Energy

Globally, increasing demand for low-carbon electricity sources and diverse generation portfolios have made nuclear energy an attractive and reliable baseload power source. Amidst a declining US nuclear industry, new nuclear energy stakeholders, including China, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey are pursuing robust nuclear energy programs to improve energy security, meet environmental goals, and demonstrate international leadership. New nuclear technologies promise to transform the energy landscape, but require regulatory updates and global cooperation to reach their potential.

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