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S. Korea, Russia to expand cooperation in cutting-edge nuclear tech

Science 12:00 June 04, 2019

SEOUL, June 4 (Yonhap) -- South Korea and Russia agreed to work together to develop cutting edge atomic technology in such areas as safe fuel, nuclear fusion and power cells that are expected to have wide-ranging applications going forward, the government said Tuesday.

At the 19th joint nuclear power committee meeting held in Seoul, the two global powerhouses in the atomic energy field will review such cooperation to come up with ways for safer dismantling of nuclear plants, according to the Ministry of Science and ICT.

There have been constant efforts to make "accident-proof" fuels that are safe to operate, with nuclear power cells utilizing radioactive isotopes and special semiconductors to generate energy, gaining attention for use in space.

In the field of nuclear fusion, Seoul and Moscow concurred on the need to conduct more experiments on the Korea Superconducting Tokamak Advanced Research (KSTAR) testbed, a locally built fusion energy device, which is a scaled-down version of the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) endeavor.

ITER is an experiment to determine if a super-hot plasma field, and naturally abundant tritium and deuterium, can be used to create an artificial sun on Earth. If the experiment succeeds, proponents claim it could provide mankind with a limitless energy resource.

South Korea currently has 24 nuclear reactors in operation, generating about 30 percent of its electricity. Asia's fourth-largest economy has been rolling out a phase-out plan that aims to wean the country off nuclear power and nudge it toward renewable energy sources.

S. Korea, Russia to expand cooperation in cutting-edge nuclear tech - 1

yonngong@yna.co.kr
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