KAERI and NASB signed MOU on Scientific and Technical Cooperation
Ways to verify KAERI’s technology for decommissioning nuclear facilities were opened. Finding solutions for the verification of technology developed domestically at a real site has been so far-fetched, though efforts have been accelerated for the development of core technologies for the decommissioning of nuclear power plants in Korea, which has been emerging as an urgent national issue.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between KAERI and the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus (NASB) was signed on 8 July 2019 in Minsk, Belarus, by Dr. Acad. Vladimir G. Gusakov, chairman of the Presidium of NASB, and Dr. Heui Joo Choi, senior vice president of KAERI, to promote scientific and technical cooperation. The aim of the MOU is to promote cooperation between the two organizations through, amongst others, the following:
● meetings organized to discuss specific technical topics and cooperative activities;
● visits of individuals or teams from one Party to the facilities of the other Party;
● transmission of information from one Party to the other;
● assessments of the role of current facilities;
● plans for future facilities.
Areas of cooperation under this MOU include, amongst others, the following:
● radioactive waste treatment and characterization technology generated from nuclear facilities;
● site remediation technologies of soil and groundwater contamination;
● decontamination technology for surface decontamination;
● radiological characterization technology for radiation protection and environmental monitoring;
● waste disposal and safety management.
Under this MOU, both organizations agreed to launch cooperation in the fields of monitoring radioactively contaminated facilities and sites and treatment of radioactive waste and contaminated soil at an initial stage, and to launch joint research projects in the fields of verification of core decommissioning technologies and site remediation. Joint development and application of technologies for which the site applicability was strengthened based on fundamental technologies possessed by both organizations is expected to provide practical benefits to both organizations.
Despite having 20% of its land contaminated because of the Chernobyl accident in 1986, Belarus has faced difficulties to date in establishing plans for dealing with accurate measurement of dispersion of contamination inside contaminated sites or contaminated soil. In the course of reviewing options for using contaminated facilities and sites in Belarus in a bid to evaluate the appropriateness and applicability of core technologies for decommissioning of nuclear facilities for which development are underway at KAERI, both organizations have agreed to promote bilateral cooperation.
In conjunction with the signing of this MOU, the Korea–Belarus Future Nuclear Cooperation Forum was held in Minsk. The forum brought together experts from both sides, who shared their respective country’s status on technological development and discussed ways for practical cooperation in the future. The forum and MOU signing presented both organizations with an opportunity to focus on planning joint research and development projects; organizing and holding technical meetings; and preparing the establishment of Joint Research Laboratory for exploring and pursuing joint research.
Dr. Won Seok Park, President of KAERI, said that the MOU signing is significant for KAERI in that it represents an important step in pursuing future-oriented partnership and cooperation with Belarus, which possesses a wealth of experience in the fields of decommissioning of nuclear facilities and site remediation. In addition, he said that he hopes both organizations will seek to revitalize cooperation on mutually beneficial areas in the development of nuclear technology.