How can Korea secure uranium enrichment and spent fuel reprocessing rights?

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South Korea is heavily dependent on energy resources from other countries and nuclear energy accounts for 31% of Korea's electric power generation as a major energy. However, Korea has many limitations in uranium enrichment and spent fuel reprocessing under the current Korea-U.S. nuclear agreement, although they are economically and politically important to Korea due to a significant problems in nuclear fuel storages. Therefore, in this paper, we first examine those example countries - Japan, Vietnam, and Iran - that have made nuclear agreements with the U.S. or have changed their agreements to allow the enrichment of uranium and the reprocessing of spent fuel. Then, we analyze those countries' nuclear energy policies and review their strategic repositioning in the relationship with the U.S. We find that a strong political stance for peaceful usage of nuclear energy including the legislation of nuclear laws as was the case of Japan. In addition, it is important for Korea to. acquire advanced technological capability such as sodium-cooled fast reactor (SFR) because SFR technologies require plutonium to be used as fuel rather than uranium-235. In addition, Korea needs to leverage its position in nuclear agreement between China and the U.S. as was the case of Vietnam.
Publisher
ELSEVIER SCI LTD
Issue Date
2014-05
Language
English
Article Type
Article
Citation

ENERGY POLICY, v.68, pp.195 - 198

ISSN
0301-4215
DOI
10.1016/j.enpol.2014.01.005
URI
http://hdl.handle.net/10203/251009
Appears in Collection
MG-Journal Papers(저널논문)
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