Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization

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The Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization (KEDO) is an organization founded on March 15, 1995 by the United States, South Korea, and Japan to implement the 1994 U.S.-North Korea Agreed Framework that froze North Korea's indigenous nuclear power plant development centered at the Yongbyon Nuclear Scientific Research Center, that was suspected of being a step in a nuclear weapons program. KEDO's principal activity is to construct a light water reactor nuclear power plant in North Korea to replace North Korea's Magnox type reactors, with an original target date for completion of 2003.

Since then, other members have joined:

KEDO discussions take place at the level of a U.S. Assistant Secretary of State, South Korea's deputy foreign minister, and the head of the Asian bureau of Japan's Foreign Ministry.

Arranging project financing was not easy, and formal invitations to bid were not issued until 1998, by which time the delays were infuriating North Korea.[1] Significant spending on the LWR project did not commence until 2000, [2] with "First Concrete" pouring at the construction site on August 7, 2002.[3] Construction of both reactors was well behind the original schedule.

In the wake of the breakdown of the Agreed Framework in 2003, KEDO has largely lost its function. KEDO ensured that the nuclear power plant project assets at the construction site at Kumho, 30 km north of Sinpo, in North Korea and at manufacturers’ facilities around the world ($1.5 billion invested to date) were preserved and maintained. The project is reported to be about 30% complete. One reactor containment building is about 50% complete and another about 15% finished. No key equipment for the reactors has been moved yet to the site.

In 2005 there were reports indicating that KEDO had agreed in principle to terminate the light-water reactor project. On January 9, 2006, it was announced that the project was over and the workers would be returning to their home countries. North Korea demanded compensation and has refused to return the approximately $45 million worth of equipment left behind.[4]

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