Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute (“KAERI”) and Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (“AECL”) agreed on an innovative nuclear R&D partnership, signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on September 8th. This MOU not only affirms both institutions' commitment to collaborate in the area of civilian nuclear science and technology (S&T), but it also marks the first and crucial step for Korea’s SMR(Small Modular Reactor) technologies into the global SMR markets.
As a leading force in nuclear technology, AECL has been pushing the boundaries of clean energy and working towards a more sustainable future with nuclear technologies. Similarly, KAERI has been a pioneer in developing groundbreaking energy technologies, including the System-Integrated Modular Advanced Reactor (SMART). The collaboration aims to harmonize these advances, with a specific focus on the demonstration of SMART. This focus gains a particular importance as Hyundai Engineering and KAERI have been collaborating since 2022 to bring SMART into Canada, as a decarbonization solution for the Canadian industries, including oil sands sector. Now such collaborative effort extends to include both AECL and CNL (Canadian National Laboratories), as the Korean partnership seeks demonstration of SMART in the AECL-owned and CNL-managed site.
Dr. Han Gyu Joo, President of KAERI, commented, “This MOU is more than just a partnership; it’s a commitment to a cleaner, more sustainable future. We anticipate a fruitful collaboration that will undoubtedly transform the energy industry.” He also highlighted “a successful cooperation based on the MOU will mark another significant milestone in the Korea-Canada nuclear and S&T cooperation.”
The MOU extends beyond the development of SMR technology to also include promising areas such as medical applications of isotopes, technologies for nuclear hydrogen production, spent fuel management, and the decommissioning of nuclear facilities. In light of the ongoing global quest for cleaner energy, the partnership between AECL and KAERI is viewed as a monumental step toward a sustainable energy future.