Upon the initiative of the President of the Korean International Nuclear Educational Institution (KINGS), a broad representation of nuclear research and educational institutions from the South Korea met with the representatives of V4 countries in Seoul from 4 - 7 July. Slovakia was represented by Iveta Radičová, former Prime Minister, Oliver Moravčík, the STU Rector, and Branislav Vrban of the STU FEI Institute of Nuclear and Physical Engineering (INPE). The subject of the discussion was further development of mutually beneficial cooperation in the field of education and research in nuclear energy.
The importance of the meeting as viewed by South Korea and the importance it attaches to cooperation in the field of nuclear energy is documented by the fact that the delegation of the host country was led by Kim Taewoo, the Minister of Trade, Industry and Energy. The Slovak Republic was represented by Iveta Radičová, the former Prime Minister of the Slovak Republic, Oliver Moravčík, the STU Rector and Branislav Vrban, representative of the STU FEI Institute of Nuclear and Physical Engineering. The Czech Republic was represented by Jan Fischer, former Prime Minister, the Rectors of the Czech Technical University in Prague and University of Technology in Brno, Poland by the former Vice-Premier and Rector of Wrocław University of Science and Technology, Vice-Rectors of University of Warsaw and AGH University of Krakow, Hungary by the Dean of the Budapest University of Technology and Economics, and others.
According to Iveta Radičová, the former SR Prime Minister, the accidents in Chernobyl, Fukushima and the situation at the Zaporizhia Atomic Power Plant have had a very fundamental effect on the energy sector in the Centre-European region; yet, for the Slovak Republic, the utilisation of nuclear energy remains an integral part of the energy mix.
" Nuclear share in the energy market can be limited only by technological factors, such as technical capacity of production of reactors and equipment, preparation of a sufficient number of qualified personnel, disposal stocks of nuclear fuel as well as safe waste processing. Environmental activists may dislike this statement, yet it is a realistic assessment of our opportunities. Cooperation of scientific institutions can bring safe and acceptable solutions to the existing challenges," stated Iveta Radičová.
As part of the cooperation between STU and KINGS, five STU FEI INPE students have already started short-term or long-term mobility in South Korea. The cooperation fastens on the joint research into the fusion reactor and fourth-generation reactors, where STU scientists primarily researched new materials that can be used for their construction.
"Constructive atmosphere of the negotiations along with the visit to the Korean Education and Development Centre and the Changgyeonggung Palace have convinced both delegations that prospective mutual cooperation in the field of nuclear energy with an emphasis on education is necessary to ensure stability and sustainability of the carbon-free electricity generation on a global scale," concluded Oliver Moravčík, the STU Rector.
After the STU Rector signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the KINGS representatives, both parties will elaborate a plan of further cooperation.