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Small is beautiful in South Korea's pivot back to nuclear power

President Moon cornered by carbon pledge with few renewable options

South Korea's Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction is working with U.S. startup NuScale to develop small modular reactor plants, like the one pictured here. (Photo courtesy of  NuScale Power)

SEOUL -- South Korea has embraced mini reactors as part of the government's approach to achieving carbon neutrality, even though the move backpedals from President Moon Jae-in's earlier pledge to phase out nuclear power.

The small modular reactors, or SMRs, will be developed primarily at Munmu Daewang Science Research Center, which is scheduled to open in 2025 in the city of Gyeongju. The government earmarked 326.3 billion won ($281 million) for construction, and the whole project is expected to cost over $500 million.

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