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NuGen consortium to hold talks with KEPCO on nuclear project in UK: official

All Headlines 18:52 April 05, 2017

SEOUL, April 5 (Yonhap) -- A consortium in charge of building a nuclear power plant in Britain will hold talks with South Korea's state-run utility firm Korea Electric Power Corp. to examine a potential partnership, a senior British official said Wednesday.

The NuGen consortium will discuss with KEPCO the Moorside nuclear power plant project in Cumbria, northwest England, Greg Clark, U.K. business secretary, said in a meeting with South Korean reporters at the British Embassy in Seoul, without providing a specific time frame.

"If KEPCO do agree to become part of the consortium, then they will have the full rights in terms of the relationship with the U.K. Government and the U.K. authorities that other members of the consortium have," Clark said.

The secretary came to Seoul to meet with South Korean officials and executives of KEPCO and prospective investors about the nuclear power project that faces uncertainty due to the financial difficulty facing Toshiba Corp.

The Japanese firm -- which has a majority stake in the NuGen consortium -- is interested in getting investment from KEPCO.

Still, a KEPCO official said no specific decision has been made yet on whether or not the power company will join the consortium. He did not provide any further details and asked not be identified, citing policy.

Clark said his purpose in visiting is to get to know KEPCO officials and South Korean policymakers.

KEPCO has "a very strong reputation internationally in nuclear. So it's not a surprise to me that they are being suggested in looking for partners that KEPCO may be being considered by the NuGen consortium," Clark said.

He said the NuGen consortium has the right to determine their membership, but said that "the U.K. government will work enthusiastically with all members of the consortium once that has been established. And if there are some changes then we'd work very positively with them."

Britain has launched a program of investing in the energy sector, as many of its nuclear reactors are coming to the end of their life cycle. Britain is seeking to maintain its nuclear power generation capacity as part of its efforts to diversify its energy supply.

Currently, 20 percent of Britain's electricity generation comes from nuclear power plants.

Asked whether Britain prefers Westinghouse AP1000 reactors or KEPCO's APR1400 technology for the Moorside project, Clark said choosing the technology to deploy is a matter for the NuGen consortium to address.

entropy@yna.co.kr
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