Korea successfully achieved energy independence in the shortest period of time from being the poorest country in terms of energy 50 years ago through steady development of nuclear technology. In the past, the nuclear industry has been driven through government-centered policy development, public institution-based research, and industrial facility and infrastructure construction. Consequently, South Korea became a nuclear energy powerhouse exporting nuclear power plants to the UAE, surpassing the level of domestic technological independence. However, in recent years, the nuclear industry in Korea has experienced a decline in new plant construction since the Fukushima accident in Japan, which caused changes in public perspectives regarding nuclear power plant operation, more stringent safety standards on the operation of nuclear power plants, and a shift in governmental energy policy. These changes are expected to change the domestic nuclear industry ecosystem. Therefore, in this study, we investigate the priority of technology development investment from the perspective of experts in private nuclear power companies, shifting the focus from government-led nuclear R&D policies. To establish a direction in nuclear technology development, a survey was conducted by applying an analytic hierarchy analysis to experts who have worked in nuclear power plants for more than 15 years. The analysis items of focus were the 3 attributes of strategic importance, urgency, and business feasibility of four major fields related to nuclear energy: nuclear safety, decommissioning, radioactive waste management, and strengthening industrial competitiveness.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Nuclear Energy and Engineering