U.S. court dismisses Westinghouse’s lawsuit against Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power

2023.09.19 11:27:01 | 2023.09.19 15:29:55

Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power (KHNP] headquarters. [Courtesy of KHNP]이미지 확대

Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power (KHNP] headquarters. [Courtesy of KHNP]

A U.S. district court has dismissed a lawsuit filed by American nuclear power company Westinghouse Electric Corp. to block its South Korean competitor, Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power (KHNP), from exporting its own nuclear reactors.

The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ruled Monday local time that Westinghouse lacked the standing to sue for the implementation of the Part 810 export control, according to Yonhap News Agency.

Westinghouse claimed in October 2022 that the Korean nuclear reactor that the KHNP was trying to export to Poland and the Czech Republic used Westinghouse’s technology, which is subject to export controls under the U.S. Atomic Energy Act. The company then filed a lawsuit to block the exports without a U.S. government license.

Westinghouse cited 10 CFR Part 810 of the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations, which designates specific nuclear technology for export controls and requires a license or notification to the Department of Energy before transferring it to a foreign country, to defend its case.

The KHNP argued that the Atomic Energy Act cited by Westinghouse exclusively delegated the authority to enforce the law to the U.S. Attorney General and did not authorize private parties to assert their rights through litigation.

Although the court dismissed the case citing lack of standing on the Westinghouse‘s part, the key issue in the lawsuit was whether the Korean reactor technology was Westinghouse’s, or a technology developed by Korea.

The KHNP says that while it relied on Westinghouse in the early stages of the development, the reactors it now seeks to export were independently developed and are not subject to U.S. export controls. The court, however, did not address the matter in its ruling.

By Choi Ki-seong and Choi Jieun

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