13 January 2010 - South Korea, which won its first nuclear plant order in December from the United Arab Emirates, plans to export 80 reactors valued at $400bn by 2030.
Bloomberg reports the Ministry of Knowledge Economy as saying in an e-mailed statement that the Asian nation wants to control 20 per cent of the global market by 2030, becoming the world's third-largest nuclear plant exporter.
State-run Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) led a group that beat France's Areva and GE-Hitachi to the first nuclear plant deal awarded by a Gulf Arab nation. Currently, France, the US, Canada, Japan and Russia are the five biggest exporters of atomic generators.
"The nuclear power-related business will be the most profitable market after automobiles, semiconductors and shipbuilding," said the ministry. "We will promote the industry as a major export business."
Demand for nuclear power, which generates 15 per cent of the world's electricity, has rebounded as nations try to reduce their dependence on more polluting energy sources including coal and crude oil.
The number of nuclear power reactors may double by 2030, driven by demand in India and China, according to the World Nuclear Association. About 435 plants are planned or proposed by 2030 and 53 plants were being built worldwide as of December, data from the London-based association show.
South Korea is considering tying up with global major players to enter markets including the US and China, according to the statement. Korea Electric said on 27 December that Turkey, Jordan and China will be its top priority.
South Korea also will target the 88trn won ($78bn) global market to operate, maintain and repair reactors, according to the statement. The nation plans to buy stakes in uranium mines to secure a stable supply of the fuel, the ministry said.