Currently, South Korea has six nuclear-capable reactors and increasing
Assistant Director Jiyoung Lee of South Korea’s Ministry of Small and Medium Size Enterprises (S.M.E.) and Startups Announces its country’s 2022 Nuclear S.M.E. Technology Development Support Plans.
The South Korean government identified 51 core to aid with the advancements of S.M.E.s and will provide research and development funds worth 21.5 billion won to enhance self-sufficiency and secure future competitiveness of nuclear S.M.E.s.
The government plans to create a fund worth 7.2 billion won with Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power (K.H.N.P.), a subsidiary of the Korea Electric Power Corporation. Vice Minister CHO Joohyun of the Ministry of S.M.E.s and Startups discussed and confirmed the 2022 Nuclear S.M.E. Technology Development Support Plans with large companies and related groups in the nuclear sector at the Human Resources Development Institute.
The ministry has been providing focused support for S.M.E.s in particular sectors facing difficulties. The announced “Nuclear SME Technology Development Support Plans” were also prepared to enhance self-sufficiency and vitality concerning S.M.E.s facing difficulties hiring people.
Among the measures the government took last month is the formation of the “Nuclear SME Technology Innovation Research Group” to enhance its self-sufficiency and ensure digital competitiveness in the future. The ministry signed partnership agreements with multiple S.M.E.’s, giving them access to the Investment Technology Development Investment Fund” worth 7.2 billion won over three years with direct oversight by K.H.N.P.
The fund will be used to secure technology competitiveness of next-generation nuclear S.M.E.s, such as supporting automatic detailed inspection equipment for nuclear reactor heads.
“As safety is the top priority for the nuclear industry, it is critical to secure technology capabilities of SMEs that play a crucial role in the safety of nuclear plants, including identifying defects, decommissioning, and measuring radiation.” Said Vice Minister CHO Joohyun
CHO added, “The government strive its best to ensure self-sufficiency for nuclear SMEs that are faced with risks due to a drop in sales and human capital, as well as to strengthen the market competitiveness of the SMEs in the future nuclear market.”