(Note: the following information was provided by the Member State for the IAEA Nuclear Power Profiles)
Spent fuel disposal and storage
Korea's demand for Uranium and nuclear fuel cycle service has continuously increased with the expansion of its nuclear power capacity. The demand is expected to account for more than 5% of the world's demand from the year 2000. Korea imports Uranium concentrates from Australia, Canada, the U.K, France, Russia, the U.S. and South Africa. In 2002, Korea imported a total of 6.0 million pounds of Uranium.
KHNP, the sole consumer of nuclear fuel in Korea, has a basic guideline to ensure the stable supply of nuclear fuel and to pursue the economic efficiency at the same time by applying an international open bid. For Uranium concentrates, KHNP has tried to maintain the optimal contract condition through both long-term contracts and spot-market purchase. Whereas conversion and enrichment services come from the U.S., the U.K., France, Canada, and Russia by long-term contracts. Fuel fabrication services are fully localized to meet domestic needs.
The Radwaste Disposal Facility Project of KHNP was established as the responsible organization for management of low-level radwaste and spent fuels in the nation. In order to carry out radioactive waste management programme more successfully, the government promulgated a law to enable such support to neighbouring local communities and inhabitants as fund to improve the standard of their living.
KHNP established the plan to build an Away From Reactor Interim Storage Facility for the spent fuel and a permanent disposal facility for the low/intermediate level radwaste under government's auspice.
The plan was approved by the Atomic Energy Commission in September 1998. According to the plan, a low-and-intermediate-level radioactive waste (LILW) repository will be constructed by 2008 and spent fuels will be stored at each nuclear power plant site until interim storage facilities are constructed by 2016.