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Korea, Britain agree to deeper cooperation in nuclear sector

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President Yoon Suk Yeol, left, with First Lady Kim Keon Hee, arrives at London Stansted Airport on Monday for a four-day state visit to Britain. [YONHAP]
President Yoon Suk Yeol, left, with First Lady Kim Keon Hee, arrives at London Stansted Airport on Monday for a four-day state visit to Britain. [YONHAP]

Korea and Britain agreed to strengthen their cooperation in the nuclear sector, including the construction of new power plants, the Industry Ministry said Tuesday.

The two countries signed nine memoranda of understanding centered on building a cooperative relationship spanning the entire lifecycle of nuclear power plants, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.

Industry Minister Bang Moon-kyu met his British counterpart, Claire Coutinho, and agreed to hold meetings to foster cooperation in the construction of new nuclear power plants.

State-run energy firms, including the Korea Electric Power Corporation, also forged eight agreements encompassing the planning, operation and dismantling of nuclear plants to seek “the broadest possible relationship,” the ministry said.

These agreements were reached on the sidelines of President Yoon Suk Yeol’s state visit to the nation that began Monday.

Britain has been actively working to increase its reliance on nuclear power, aiming for nuclear energy to constitute 25 percent of its power generation by 2050, compared with the 15 percent recorded in 2020.

“The two countries can seek a mutually beneficial relationship as Korea has strength in the construction of nuclear plants and equipment, and Britain has a competitive edge in reactor dismantling and the nuclear fuel sector,” the ministry said in a statement.

BY KIM JU-YEON, YONHAP [kim.juyeon2@joongang.co.kr]