Korean minister visits Czech Republic for reactor project

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Korean Energy Minister Lee Chang-yang (third from left) talks with Czech Senate President Milos Vystrcil (second from right) on Tuesday about bilateral relations in Prague. (Yonhap)

SEJONG — South Korea recently held a high-profile promotion in the Czech Republic for its nuclear power technologies in a bid to win a reactor project in the European country, the energy ministry said Wednesday.

The heart of the promotional activities was Trade, Industry and Energy Minister Lee Chang-yang’s meetings with senior Czech officials and political heavyweights in Prague on Tuesday.

In a meeting with his counterpart Jozef Sikela, Lee commented on the details of Korea’s advanced nuclear power technologies and management capability.

Lee, in particular, pointed out to the attendees that Korean technologies have already been recognized on the world stage through his Barakah project in the United Arab Emirates. Korea has successfully built four nuclear reactors in Barakah, United Arab Emirates.

The Czech Republic aims to build a reactor with a power generation capacity of up to 1,200 megawatts in Dukovany, in the southeast of the country. The nation, which launched a bidding process in March, is expected to receive offers in November from several candidates.

Minister Jozef Sikela stressed the importance of nuclear energy in his government’s energy policy, compared to that of the new Korean administration, the Korean energy ministry said.

The counterpart also mentioned the importance of coordination between “like-minded” countries in terms of freedom and democracy, the ministry said.

On the same day, Lee met with Czech Senate Speaker Milos Vystrcil, who drew the attention of Korean officials to the potential establishment of a direct air link between the two countries and Korea’s continued support for the ‘Ukraine.

The two figures also discussed the nuclear power project and other industrial relations, the Korean ministry said.

This visit makes sense in the aspects of restoring the nuclear power industry under the Yoon Suk-yeol administration and seeking to create national wealth through foreign bids.

President Yoon is due to hold a summit in Madrid on Thursday with Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala where the project will probably be discussed, on the sidelines of the NATO summit.

The Czech Republic is one of the 30 members of NATO.

By Kim Yon-se (kys@heraldcorp.com)


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