South Korea Builds Nuclear Plants Quickly and Cheaply
Although its nuclear industry is functional and willing to export reactors, South Korea faces U.S. obstruction on geopolitical grounds. Only live players can import their affordable reactors.
Newly-built South Korean nuclear plants have achieved levels of speed and cost-effectiveness in construction far beyond their counterparts in the United States and Europe and are even superior to Chinese and Russian projects. Ongoing constructions of new plants in France and the United Kingdom are currently costing an estimated four to five times as much per kilowatt of installed electricity as South Korea’s new reactors at Kori and Hanul.1 With just 52 million people, South Korea is not capable of sustaining a globally relevant nuclear industry on the back of its domestic market alone, like China or the U.S. can, but needs to export its reactors like France or Russia. As a U.S. ally with exceptional competence in nuclear power, South Korea ought to play a key role in any hypothetical nuclear renaissance in the developed world.