세미나&이벤트

세미나&이벤트

2024.02.22 DANE’s Regular Seminar(Dr. Sungwoo Cho (Doosan Enerbility))

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2024.02.19 / 145

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▶ Date: 2024. 02. 22(Thu)

▶ Time: 4:30 ~ 5:30PM

▶ Venue: Research Building I, #310

▶ Speaker: Dr. Sungwoo Cho (Doosan Enerbility)

▶ Title: Korea's Advanced Manufacturing Technology and Development Plan for SMR

▶ Abstract:

The field of nuclear power generation is experiencing significant changes. While traditional large-scale nuclear reactors have been the focus of commercial nuclear power development in various countries and industries, recent efforts have shifted towards the development of Small Modular Reactors (SMRs). According to data reported by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), a variety of SMRs are being developed by different countries and companies.

While traditional large-scale nuclear power plants typically have a capacity of around 1000-1400MW, the current development of SMRs ranges from very small micro-reactors with a capacity of around 50MW to SMRs with a capacity of approximately 400MW. As reported in the media, South Korea is also designing and developing an "Innovative SMR (i-SMR)". The basic design and licensing of the i-SMR are expected to be completed around 2028.

The worldwide development and expansion of SMRs can be attributed to several reasons. The first reason is their exceptional safety. While current large-scale nuclear reactors are known for their high safety standards, SMRs are thousands of times safer. Another reason is their versatility for diverse applications. In some regions with low population density, plans are being made to install small-scale SMRs. Additionally, it is noted that small SMRs can be effectively utilized in small military zones. Furthermore, due to their innovative safety features, it is anticipated that they can also be applied to various marine vessels and submarines.

Is SMR without any weaknesses? Even though SMRs are known for their exceptional safety and efficiency, economic viability is currently a major concern. Regardless of the excellent safety and efficiency of SMRs, if they are not economically competitive with traditional large-scale nuclear reactors, they may not be as attractive. To solve this issue, many countries and companies are making significant efforts to reduce construction and major equipment production costs through extensive research activities. For the past 5-10 years, various efforts have been made in foreign countries to innovatively reduce production costs.

Strategically supported by governments, such as the United States and the United Kingdom, efforts are focused on securing the safety and economic viability of innovative manufacturing technologies. These efforts are aimed at leading a revival of the nuclear power industry by applying the results of these efforts to production. In particular, if the innovative goal of reducing the production cost of small reactors by approximately 40% is achieved, it will not only make small reactors economically competitive with traditional reactors but also secure manufacturing competitiveness over other competing countries and companies.

As a result, advanced foreign countries have been concurrently developing innovative manufacturing technologies from the conceptual design stage of small reactors, with steady development expected to take at least 5-10 years to achieve a level of innovative manufacturing technology that can be applied to actual products. The United States and the United Kingdom are working to apply many innovative manufacturing technologies that were previously deemed unfeasible to actual products and are currently conducting various tests to verify safety and reliability issues.

In comparison to advanced foreign countries, South Korea has not yet made significant progress in the development of innovative manufacturing technologies for SMRs and is still adhering to traditional manufacturing methods. Although preliminary research is being conducted by Doosan Energy and some research institutions, much more effort is needed to reach the practical stage. Therefore, it is urgently necessary for Korea to conduct research and development to enter the small reactor market and secure manufacturing competitiveness. Similarly, government support for the development of innovative manufacturing technologies is urgently needed. While Korea is currently lagging behind in technology development, if efforts are not initiated now, the country may lose competitiveness in the global SMR market due to technological deficiencies.

The United States and the United Kingdom are making significant progress in developing innovative manufacturing technologies for small modular reactors (SMRs), supported by government funding. South Korea also has strong nuclear equipment manufacturing capabilities, but it lags behind in the level of future innovative manufacturing technology being developed. Active participation in the development of innovative manufacturing technologies and independent technology and equipment development are urgently needed in Korea to secure its competitiveness in the future SMR market. The successful development of innovative manufacturing technology would enable Korea to become a leading player in the global SMR market.