South Korean and South Africa agree on Nuclear power cooperation

Both South Korea and South Africa have signed a nuclear power cooperation agreement.

South Korea Friday signed a nuclear power cooperation agreement with South Africa, in hopes of securing lucrative deals for its companies in any future plant construction.

South Korea, with few natural energy sources, operates 20 commercial reactors providing 40 percent of its electricity.

It is eager to export its expertise further, after sealing a landmark 20.4 billion dollar deal last December to build four nuclear power plants in the United Arab Emirates and signing a cooperation deal with Turkey.

President Lee Myung-Bak expressed Seoul’s interest when he met South African Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe, who arrived Thursday on a working visit focusing on sharing experience and technology in energy.

Lee “expressed hope that South Korea will be able to actively participate in South Africa’s power development projects including the construction of nuclear plants,” the Seoul presidential palace said in a statement.

Earlier, visiting Energy Minister Elizabeth Dipuo Peters and acting Foreign Minister Shin Kak-Soo signed the broad agreement on nuclear energy cooperation, including research and development and the exchange of personnel.

Motlanthe’s spokesman Thabo Masebe told AFP South Africa is working on a long-term energy development plan including the possible construction of more nuclear power plants.

Motlanthe also visited a nuclear power plant in southern South Korea and met top officials of the state-run electricity company KEPCO.

His talks also covered bilateral relations and cooperation in the G20 summit opening in Seoul next month. South Africa is the only African member of the group.

This is good for South Africa as it needs more investment in its electrical infastructure. Japan also recently this year signed a similar agreement with South Africa.

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