[Source: MK DB]
Despite the new South Korean government’s eagerness to restore nuclear reactor supremacy, it could take nearly four years before the industry can regain competitiveness that has been impaired by 30 percent from five years ago before the last government stopped new construction to phase out of nuclear reactors, a survey showed.
According to a poll on 70 reactor-related companies by the Federation of Korean Industries (FKI), more than half – 51.6 percent – found the nuclear reactor industry behind 30 to 40 percent from its heyday, or before the Moon Jae-in government in 2017 started phase-out from nuclear reactors by retiring aged facilities, suspending constructions, and stop building new ones.
Another 22.6 percent found the competitiveness waned by 20 to 30 percent, and 6.5 percent 10 to 20 percent.
A majority 51.6 percent predicted it would take 3.9 years to regain past competitiveness, while 38.7 percent projected longer period of four to six years.
The biggest loss during the hiatus over the last five years has been manpower – 35.7 percent. Nuclear reactor majors at universities fell 22 percent to 2,165 in 2021 from 2,777 in 2017.
Other difficulties were cited as insufficient operating funds (30.4 percent), supply chain instability (17.9 percent), and laggard next-generation technologies (12.5 percent).
The exit plan had worsened profitability (54.8 percent), lost skilled workers (29 percent), cut R&D activities (9.7 percent), and weakened competitiveness in the value chain (3.2%).
To fast restore reactor habitat, the new government vowed to raise reactor sourcing for power generation to 30 percent from current 27 percent and procure new work in reactor business within the year while fastening the resumption of reactor construction.
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business Newspaper & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]