SUPPLY OF LIGHT WATER REACTOR(S) TO PYONGYANG: TECHNOLOGICAL ISSUES AND THEIR POSSIBLE RESOLUTION

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NAPSNet Special Report

Recommended Citation

Salomon Levy, "SUPPLY OF LIGHT WATER REACTOR(S) TO PYONGYANG: TECHNOLOGICAL ISSUES AND THEIR POSSIBLE RESOLUTION", NAPSNet Special Reports, December 02, 1993, http://nautilus.org/napsnet/napsnet-special-reports/supply-of-light-water-reactors-to-pyongyang-technological-issues-and-their-possible-resolution/

SUPPLY OF LIGHT WATER REACTOR(S) TO PYONGYANG: 

TECHNOLOGICAL ISSUES AND THEIR POSSIBLE RESOLUTION

Salomon Levy

report to the 

 copyright Northeast Asia Peace and Security Network

 December 2/93

	

INTRODUCTION

The possibility of light water reactor (LWR) technology transfer 
to North Korea (DPRK) has been raised during high-level talks 
between North Korea and the United States.  The pros and cons of 
such a transfer were covered by Peter Hayes (1) and the purpose 
of this paper is to provide details about the technical issues 
that might be raised by such a transfer and to suggest possible 
ways to resolve them.  It is worth mentioning, at the outset, 
that my knowledge of the DPRK industrial and electrical 
capabilities are very limited and that the following comments 
rely heavily upon information provided in Reference (1). Also, 
political and legal issues are excluded from this evaluation 
because they are to be covered in a companion paper.  Finally, 
the treatment in this essay is superficial given the limited time 
available for this assessment. 

This paper first reviews past LWR technology transfer from the 
USA to other countries and to identify the preferred method of 
transfer to DPRK. Next, the countries capable of carrying out the 
transfer are covered and the appropriate choice(s) identified.  
Finally, key technical problems associated with the transfer of 
LWR technology are summarized and suggestions provided for their 
resolution. 

HISTORY OF LWR TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER (2)

The light water reactor (LWR) technology was developed in the 
United States of America (USA) where it was applied successfully 
first to commercial power production.  Two principal concepts of 
LWR were utilized in the USA:  the boiling water reactor (BWR) in 
which the steam entering the electrical turbine generator is 
generated in the reactor and the pressurized water reactor (PWR) 
which employs steam generators to separate the light water 
coolant in the reactor from the steam flowing to the turbine.  
The BWR was developed exclusively for power operation and the USA 
designer of BWRs (General Electric - GE) was the first to 
commercialize that design.  The PWR was designed originally for 
submarine propulsion and was later adapted to electrical power 
production.  The initial USA designer of PWRs (Westinghouse - W) 
was the first to commercialize it.  These two reactor types have 
gone on to become the dominant suppliers of nuclear generated 
electrical power all around the world with about twice as many 
PWRs operating today than BWRs. 

The initial transfer of LWR technology outside the USA was 
carried out by GE and W and it took three different forms 
depending upon the country's plans for nuclear power generation, 
its fiscal resources, and its engineering, manufacturing, and 
construction capability.  The three forms of technology transfer 
can be formulated in terms of the degree of LWR technology 
transfer. 

Case I - Full Technology Transfer - In this case, the USA vendors 
of LWR power plants provided the full LWR technology to 
equivalent companies in other countries (for example, France, 
Germany, Japan).  That transfer of technology included design 
information about a power station operating in the USA, the 
engineering, construction and manufacturing methodology employed 
in the plant as well as training of the licensee personnel. 
Consulting services were available whenever requested.  
Improvements in design and developmental results continued to 
flow to the licensee after they had been applied practically in 
the USA.  There was a backflow requirement of information to the 
licensor of changes and improvements made by the licensee.  Such 
licenses involved significant initial fees and royalties when the 
licensor sold its own version of LWR power plants.  In many cases 
the licensor or a licensee-licensor joint venture supplied the 
first power station and subsequent significant evolutions of that 
design. With time, most licensees formulated their own design to 
fit their country's needs and several (i.e., Siemens and 
Framatome) became capable of competing against the original 
licensor.  Also, with time, other USA vendors [Combustion 
Engineering - CE (subsequently bought out by ASEA Brown Boveri - 
ABB) and Babcock & Wilcox -B&W] became capable of supplying LWRs 
and of licensing their technology. 

Case II - Supply of a Prototypic Plant and Stepwise Evolution 
into a Comprehensive Transfer of Technology.  This case applies 
to countries with an immediate need of power which decided for 
economic or other reasons (for example, independence of fuel 
supply) to use nuclear power.  However, they did not have the 
resources or capability to use most of the elements of a full 
license.  Subsequently, as they developed that capability they 
would acquire the technology stepwise primarily from the original 
vendor and in a few cases partly from its competitors.  There are 
many reasons for the stepwise approach, including the time 
required to develop nuclear engineering curricula in local 
universities; the time needed to put in place the necessary 
regulations, codes and standards; the time to upgrade quality 
assurance and manufacturing technology; and the realization that 
transfer of some elements of LWR technology would not be 
economical until the number of reactors in a given country and 
their manufacturing volume was large enough.  Several countries 
have followed this pattern, for example, South Korea and Taiwan. 

Case III - Supply of a Prototype and Subsequent Prototype Plants 
with Very Limited Transfer of Technology.  This case applies to 
countries where the primary interest was in economic nuclear 
power production.  Generally, their demand for nuclear electrical 
power was small enough to not justify Cases I and II.  At the 
current time, this is true, for example, of the Krsko plant 
operating in Slovenia or the Koeberg plants in South Africa. 

It should be noted that in the USA, over the years, knowledge 
about the construction and design of some elements of nuclear 
plants was taken over by Architect Engineers (AEs) (for example, 
Bechtel, Sargent & Lundy). Such AEs have become responsible for 
overall project management and design and construction of the 
non-nuclear systems or so-called balance-of-plant (BOP).  Also, 
it should be realized that some countries (for example, Russia 
and China) have developed LWR technology on their own; however 
they have tended to find themselves in a continuous catch-up mode 
with respect to evolving western LWR technology. 

Based upon that brief history, the best strategy for North Korea 
would be to select Case III and to possibly evolve later into 
Case II when it can be justified.  Case I is not viable right 
now; funds, resources, and capability are not available in DPRK 
and they will not become available for a rather long period of 
time.  It would be premature to go to Case II until the first 
nuclear plant has been completed satisfactorily in DPRK and until 
the projected growth in nuclear power in North Korea is 
established firmly and justified economically. 

Also, a premature selection of Case II could have a significant 
negative economic impact.  For example, Brazil acquired 
significant LWR technology from Germany early and it built large 
and costly manufacturing facilities which were never utilized.  
If LWR technology is to be transferred to North Korea, only Case 
III makes sense at the present time.  That was the strategy used 
in Taiwan and South Korea before being evolved subsequently into 
Case II.  That strategy has been effective in those two countries 
and it should be in North Korea. 

SOURCING OF LWR TECHNOLOGY

In Reference (1), it is reported that North Korea is interested 
in LWR technology and that its transfer must go directly or 
indirectly through the USA.  France, Germany, and mainland China 
would not be interested in working through the USA.  Japan has 
the necessary capabilities and may be willing to work through the 
USA but their acceptance by North Korea is doubtful (1).  Also, 
the Japanese have shown no interest to-date in exporting nuclear 
power plants anywhere in the world.  Russia may be much more 
acceptable to North Korea but it is not clear why the USA needs 
to be involved in such a transfer unless it is to provide funding 
for the project.  If the USA is to contribute money, it would 
make much more sense if it were applied towards an US product.  
Furthermore, Russia's VVER LWR does not meet all US safety 
standards in such areas as fire prevention, earthquake 
protection, and severe accident mitigation, and this would make 
it even more difficult for the USA to sponsor the transfer of 
Russian LWR technology. 

Since Taiwan is not yet ready for LWR technology transfer, this 
leaves the US vendors and South Korea as the two possible sources 
to furnish LWR technology to DPRK through the USA. 

USA Supply of LWR Technology

In spite of no new domestic nuclear plant orders for over 15 
years, all US vendors, B&W, CE, GE and W, are still capable of 
transferring LWR technology to North Korea, In fact, CE, GE and W 
have submitted proposals and are still in contention for the 
supply of two nuclear power plants to Taiwan.  It is true that 
some equipment suppliers in the US have withdrawn from the 
nuclear business but all the US operating nuclear plants have 
been kept supplied with adequate and equivalent products.  Also, 
in many cases, readily available commercial grade hardware has 
been used after it has been upgraded to meet the nuclear 
requirements.  In my opinion, US vendors could still deliver an 
entire nuclear supply safety system from the USA.  However, they 
may have to pay a premium for some components sourced 
domestically (for example, pressure vessels, pumps, valves) and 
they may choose to procure such components from Europe, Japan, 
and even South Korea to reduce their costs.  Finally, CE, GE and 
W are all involved in the formulation of Advance Light Water 
Reactors (ALWRs).  These advanced designs include both 
evolutionary versions of operating large (1200 - 1300 megawatt 
electrical) light water reactors and small (600 megawatt 
electrical) reactors with new passive or "natural" safety 
features (3).  Both types of plants include all of the lessons 
learned from today's operating LWRs and are being prepared for 
introduction in the USA in the late 1990's.  Currently, there are 
four ALWR designs:  CE is pursuing an evolutionary PWR, CE-80+, 
which is under construction in South Korea (Ulchin Units 3 and 4 
expected to go operational in mid-1998); GE is going ahead with 
an evolutionary ABWR which is under construction in Japan 
(Koshiwazaki 6 and 7 expected to startup in early 1997); both GE 
and W are pursuing passive plants called the SBWR and AP- 600, 
respectively.  The passive plants are under development and their 
designs are still being evaluated by the Nuclear Regulatory 
Commission (NRC).  The evolutionary plants CE-80+ and ABWR are 
very close to receiving NRC approval. 

If US vendors are to supply the first nuclear power plant to 
North Korea, they would show strong preference for providing 
their latest LWR version. This means that GE would propose an 
ABWR, CE the PWR 80+, and W their latest PWR version constructed 
in England (Sizewell B PWR, expected to go operational in 1994).  
All of these plants presently have an output of 1000 to 1200 MWe.  
In the past, US vendors have offered plants with two or three 
different outputs ranging from 800 to 1200 MWe.  They may be 
willing to consider offering a plant in the range of 600-800 MWe 
if there is a market and a volume for that size, but that 
possibility does not appear to be very likely right now.  Three 
to four years from now they may be ready to offer the 600 MWe 
SBWR and AP-600. 

The anticipated capital, operating and generating costs 
associated with such plants are provided in Reference (3).  The 
capital costs in the USA of one 1200 megawatt electrical (MWe) 
evolutionary plant were estimated to be about $1360 dollars per 
kilowatt electrical ($/kWe) in 1992 dollars excluding any 
financial costs incurred during the project and assuming a 
construction time of 72 months.  The corresponding generating 
costs were established at 3.8 cents per kilowatt hour (›/kWh) and 
were found to be competitive with two 600-MWe pulverized coal 
plants, four 250 MWe integrated-gasification-combined cycle or 
combined-cycle combustion turbine.  If financial costs are 
included, the capital cost of the 1200 MWe unit would rise to 
about 1570 $/kWe (which corresponds to about 2.65›/kWhe).  The 
corresponding number for a 600 MWe nuclear plant would be 
1860$/kWe.  The numbers provided in Reference (3) could be 
achievable in North Korea because the reduced labor costs in that 
country should compensate for its inadequate industrial and 
project culture.  However, a contingency factor of at least 20 
percent may be appropriate to take into account the fact that 
this will be the first LWR project in DPRK and that the relations 
will be complex and difficult between DPRK and the foreign 
project team.  Similarly, a construction schedule of 60 months 
may be attainable in North Korea if the project is not subjected 
to political or other interferences.  An additional two years are 
needed from signing a letter of intent to select the site and to 
prepare an adequate Safety Analysis Report for approval by the 
regulatory bodies.  An additional schedule contingency of one to 
two years could be justified in this case for anticipated 
complications. 

The US vendors may have a commercial advantage over other 
suppliers of LWR technology.

Many US supplied plants were canceled prior to their completion 
and some of the hardware could be obtained from incompleted 
plants where the equipment is installed or from warehouses where 
it is stored.  For example, W might be very interested in 
transferring the completed 620 MWe PWR installed in the 
Philippines.  However, no proposal of that type has been 
successful to-date for several reasons:  The canceled plants have 
been cannibalized to get spare parts for operating plants; also, 
the regulations and code requirements have evolved over time and 
have tended to become more stringent; finally, problems have 
arisen during the course of operating the earlier plant versions.  
For instance, steam generators in PWRs have developed a variety 
of problems which have led to tube plugging, reduced power 
output, and, in many cases, their eventual replacement.  
Therefore, improved steam generators and changes in the balance-
of-plant would have to be made to the older plants.  In other 
words, while a few components could be obtained from canceled US 
projects, their impact upon plant costs would be minimal and, in 
my opinion, it would be preferable to employ the latest safety or 
design features to assure increased safety and improved plant 
performance. 

There are significant obstacles to the US transfer of LWR 
technology: 

 þ    The supply of US LWR technology and nuclear plant to DPRK 
is bound to lead to other suppliers wanting to compete for the 
project.  This will be particularly true of France, Germany and 
possibly Great Britain.  The transfer of LWR technology will then 
become dominated by commercial arguments at the expense of the 
primary objectives of non-proliferation and nuclear facility 
inspections.

 þ    The US vendors will insist on nuclear risk liability 
coverage.  It is not clear how, where, and when DPRK could obtain 
the necessary nuclear insurance.

 þ    The selected nuclear vendor and AE would want to be paid in 
US dollars.  In the USA, the nuclear power plant owner raises the 
necessary money through stock or debt.  DPRK cannot follow that 
pattern and they would expect a substantial loan arrangement with 
the USA.  Some other countries may be much more willing to accept 
such an arrangement (for example, France, ROK) because some of 
the technology suppliers are owned by the government.

 þ    US supply of LWR technology would raise considerable public 
and congressional debate.  One should remember that GE had a 
letter of intent for the two Koeberg nuclear units now operating 
in South Africa and that the public and congressional furor about 
the project led to the order going to Framatome.

 þ    In the past, the US vendors have not shown a great interest 
in transferring their technology to countries with a small or 
doubtful nuclear power future.  Commercially, this is a sound 
strategy.

ROK Supply of LWR Technology

ROK has achieved LWR technology transfer with the purchase of the 
two PWRs from CE.  These units have an electrical output of 950 
MWe and are expected to go in operation in 1998- 99.  ROK has 
developed a South Korean LWR standard based upon that technology.  
It is patterned after the CE-80+ ALWR version being approved by 
the NRC in the USA.  ROK would undoubtedly be interested in LWR 
transfer of technology to DPRK particularly if it does improve 
and normalize the relations between the two Koreas.  There are 
many advantages to ROK involvement: 

 þ    They speak the same language and understand the culture 
prevalent in that part of the world.

 þ    They may be willing to finance a significant portion of the 
project, particularly with a guarantee from the USA in the case 
of a default by DPRK.  One way toreduce the costs of the project 
is to initially transmit a good portion of the power produced by 
the plant back to ROK.  The ROK also may be much more willing to 
accept repayment in kind from DPRK, i.e. raw materials and food.  
The US suppliers have shown little interest in such an approach.

 þ    ROK would be a source of spare parts and other support 
during plant construction and operations at DPRK.  For example, 
if the plant installed in DPRK is identical to plants existing in 
ROK, operator and maintenance training could be obtained in ROK 
for the first project without having to build a plant simulator 
and a training center within DPRK.  Such a strategy not only 
would reduce costs but
also it would encourage continued cooperation between the two 
Koreas.

 þ    ROK capability in project management of large projects is 
well established.  Most South Korean nuclear projects have been 
completed relatively on schedule and close to the original costs.  
ROK has manufacturing facilities capable of producing most of the 
components and of satisfying the required nuclear quality level.  
Their universities have strong nuclear engineering schools which 
North Koreans could attend until similar capability is developed 
in DPRK.

On the other hand, there are several obstacles to ROK having a 
dominant or partial involvement in LWR technology transfer to 
DPRK: 

 þ    The project will not be successful unless ROK and DPRK can 
work together.  The project will require flow of information and 
of personnel back and forth over the territorial boundaries.  The 
mistrust between the two countries is very great right now and it 
will take many years to overcome past years of dislike and 
conflict.  Also, the mistrust is bound to resurface several times 
during the project and some US participation may be desirable if 
not absolutely necessary to start and bring the project to its 
conclusion.  A US project, technical, and safety strong mission 
or group could be useful in meeting that objective.

 þ    ROK does not have the capability to supply all the 
components and services for an LWR.  For example, key safety-
related valves and pumps are not yet being fabricated in ROK.  
The same is true of instruments and particularly of digital 
control systems and their software.  Independent quality 
assurance (QA) coverage is still being obtained from US architect 
engineers.  ROK simulators for training operators are most likely 
behind comparable versions in the USA.  However, the missing 
components, services, and software could be obtained from the 
USA.

 þ    ROK will demand some nuclear risk liability protection but 
possibly to a lesser extent than the US vendors.  Also, it is not 
clear whether ROK would have to get approval from CE before they 
can proceed with an LWR technology transfer to

DPRK.

There is no question that ROK involvement in the transfer of LWR 
technology would be desirable but DPRK would have to agree to it 
and would have to realize that the decision cannot be reversed 
subsequently.  A strong US presence in the program could help to 
stay that course. 

POTENTIAL TRANSFER PROBLEMS AND POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS

1.  The characteristics of the first DPRK power plant need to be 
established early. 

The type of LWR, its size and location have to be defined early 
before agreement is reached on the transfer of technology.  There 
are different types of LWRs and different versions among the 
available PWRs and BWRs. If ROK involvement and component supply 
are to be pursued, the LWR will have to be a PWR.  If the latest 
LWR design in ROK is to be adopted, the LWR will be the CE type 
and preferably the CE-80+ standard being adopted in ROK.  In my 
opinion, this will be the least costly approach and it has the 
greatest chance of helping normalize relations between ROK and 
DPRK. 

The location of the plant and its features are important.  There 
would be an advantage to a site not far from ROK to allow power 
transmission from the plant to ROK and from ROK to the plant.  As 
noted previously, initial power supply to ROK would reduce the 
funds required for the plant.  Also, nuclear power plants need a 
strong electrical grid to provide power for decay heat removal 
during nuclear plant shutdowns.  The present DPRK grid would not 
satisfy this important safety requirement. 

The size of the plant is usually determined by economic 
considerations and the overall capacity and stability of the grid 
system.  Nuclear power plant costs decrease with plant size and 
the largest possible size is usually selected.  Current North 
Korea available electrical capacity was estimated between 10,000 
and 12,000 MWe (1), which suggests a nuclear plant size of at 
most 600-800 MWe allowing for the grid weakness and future 
growth.  Most LWRs built in recent years have been at or above 
1000 MWe and there is a significant cost advantage to using a 
plant already designed and under construction.  Furthermore, the 
ROK standard plant is at 1000 MWe and that size plant could be 
introduced in DPRK only with a tieback to the ROK electrical 
grid.  With no tieback to ROK, a 1000 MWe plant may still be the 
best choice if it can be operated in a derated mode in the first 
few years of operation until the DPRK electrical grid grows and 
becomes more stable. 

The site characteristics need to be studied in terms of 
population, seismic, flooding and geological conditions.  Access 
to the site and transportation of large components to it as well 
as availability of construction materials are other important 
features.  It will take at least one year to 18 months to verify 
that a site is suitable for nuclear construction. 

2.  Development of a Strong Compliance Group and a Safety Culture 
are essential to  success.

In a nuclear power plant, safety has to always be the dominant 
objective because the risks associated with release of fission 
products from such plants can be enormous.  While the power plant 
owner has many inherent reasons to operate the plant safely, a 
regulatory or compliance group has been found necessary to assure 
that the plant is kept on safe grounds at all stages of design, 
construction, and operation.  DPRK will have to develop and put 
in place such a group.  It needs to define the applicable DPRK 
regulations and how to implement them.  An exchange agreement 
with the NRC would be appropriate and training of DPRK regulators 
through assignments in the USA would be desirable.  Because this 
program takes several years to implement, most countries have 
required that the first nuclear plant they acquire be a duplicate 
of a plant being constructed or operated in the supplying country 
and that the plant satisfy all the safety regulations prevailing 
there.  This is a good approach, but still the DPRK will need 
regulators able to pass judgment on the safety of their plant 
once it starts to operate and to undergo changes.  These 
regulators should be placed in a different and independent agency 
from the one responsible for operation of the plant.  Finally, 
the regulators must have the authority to stop work and shut down 
the nuclear plant if necessary. 

A safety culture also needs to be instilled in all personnel 
associated with the DPRK nuclear plant.  It requires 
understanding and analysis of plant performance and intensive 
training of plant operators and maintenance personnel.  The 
magnitude of this job should not be underestimated.  Between 500 
to 700 people are needed to operate and support a 1000 MWe plant.  
DPRK can acquire a core of that capability by assigning a limited 
number of their personnel at the suppliers, architect engineers 
facilities and at similar operating plants.  With time, that 
capability needs to be developed within DPRK.  Also, DPRK should 
eventually consider joining the World Association of Nuclear 
Operators (WANO).  This will allow participation of DPRK 
personnel in peer review of other LWRs and of foreign LWR 
personnel visiting the DPRK plant.  These visits are only 
advisory in nature but they still provide a chance to keep up 
with how operational excellence is achieved at other plants 
world-wide. 

3.   A strong Project Management and Scheduling Team are 
necessary.

A significant portion of the costs associated with a nuclear 
power plant are dependent upon its construction schedule.  A 
construction schedule of 60 to 72 months can be attained only 
with a strong project management and scheduling team.  This will 
require an organization with clearly established responsibilities 
and accountabilities.  The scope of supply of the various 
participants needs to be defined before the start of the project.  
This means that a visit to DPRK will be necessary to establish 
and to agree upon its capability of supply.  For example, most 
concrete materials of construction and some balance-of-plant 
components could be obtained from DPRK.  Also, it would be 
desirable to use a majority of the field workers from DPRK and to 
even train them into performing such more difficult tasks as 
nuclear related welding.  However, the project and scheduling 
team should be controlled by the supplier of LWR technology. 
Parallel positions could be assigned to DPRK personnel to assure 
the transfer of project and scheduling techniques to DPRK.  The 
same strategy should be used for startup of the plant. 

The schedule and budget will be satisfied only if changes and 
interferences are kept to a minimum during the project.  In 
particular, politics can have no role in the process or the costs 
will rise sharply and the schedule extended by several years. 


4.  Previous pitfalls should be avoided.

Included in this category are:

 þ    utilizing more than one type of LWR.  This only increases 
training of personnel and increases technology and manufacturing 
knowledge to be absorbed.

 þ    premature use of local components.  Inferior components 
will impact and reduce plant power generation.

 þ    weak compliance group.  The power plant personnel will 
emphasize power production at the expense of safety and good 
maintenance.

 þ    insufficient fuel cycle planning.  In some cases, there was 
a failure to recognize the generation of low to medium activated 
wastes and the need to provide for their storage.  In others, 
there was a premature rush to install fuel fabrication and other 
fuel treatment facilities.  All such facilities are strongly 
volume dependent and should not be considered until the volume 
justifies them (for example, 6 nuclear power plants).  For those 
concerned about cutoff of supplies, limited inventory buildup of 
nuclear fuel can provide protection.  Long-term planning for 
disposal of spent fuel needs to be considered because the 
suppliers of LWR technology will not agree to the disposal of 
fuel they have fabricated or to the storage of high activity 
wastes it may generate.

The best lesson learned from previous transfer of nuclear 
technology is that it is best to proceed slowly and carefully 
because it will be much less costly. In my opinion, the following 
is a deliberate and appropriate model for DPRK: 

Step One (1994-2000):  Allow ROK to build an LWR next to DPRK.  
In exchange for that agreement, DPRK gets assurance of supply of 
up to 50 percent of the power generated by that unit; also, be 
allowed to have DPRK personnel participate as observers and 
workers in that project.  This will provide DPRK with an initial 
knowledge about LWRs.  Also, ask the US to help with energy 
conservation in DPRK in the short term. 

Step Two (1998-2004):  Have ROK build an LWR in DPRK and obtain 
increased knowledge about that design, its construction and 
operation.  Let ROK run the project with seconded personnel from 
DPRK.  Terminate power supply from ROK when this unit is 
available. 

Step Three (2000-2006):  Have DPRK build its own LWR with large 
components and fuel obtained from ROK and consider full 
technology transfer beyond that point.  While the volume of fuel 
supply beyond this point is still too small for DPRK to built its 
own fuel cycle infrastructure, they may decide to do so for other 
than economical reasons and assuming that they have the financial 
resources to do so. 

It should be noted that the proposed model is more ambitious 
schedule-wise than the ROK program.  ROK ordered its first LWR in 
the early seventies and it will achieve full LWR technology 
transfer only by mid-1998 when Ulchin Unit 3 is operational.  The 
approach should be patterned after ROK. DPRK would have to 
designate an AE, a constructor, and a reactor supplier which 
would assume increased responsibilities from Step one to Step 
three of the plan.  In South Korea, they are KOPEC, KHIC and 
Hyundai or Dong Ah. 

This plan has a chance of succeeding only if North and South 
Korea realize that it is beneficial to both countries.  The USA 
could be asked to participate and to act as a moderator through 
its execution and particularly during periods of disagreement. 
The plan should help to lead to harmonious relations between 
North and South Korea.  Without such a harmony, it is difficult 
to see the possibility or the merit of any LWR technology 
transfer to DPRK. 

REFERENCES

(1)  P. Hayes, Should the United States Supply Light Water 
Reactors to Pyongyang?,

November 1993.

(2)  MIT, Review of Safety Features of Operating Light Water 
Reactors of Western Design,

to be published, 1993.

(3)  U.S. Council for Energy Awareness (USCEA), Advanced Design 
Nuclear Power Plants:

 Competitive, Economical Electricity, June 1992.


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