SEOUL, Oct 9 (Reuters) - South Korea's state-run nuclear operator Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power Co Ltd (KHNP) said on Monday that modifications to its APR 1400 reactor design were approved by European utilities, allowing KHNP to expand its export markets.
The European Utility Requirements (EUR), a technical advisory group for European utilities on nuclear power plants, approved the changes in the APR 1400 reactor, KHNP said in a statement. The changes modify how the APR 1400 cools itself in the case of an emergency.
Gaining the EUR approval will allow KHNP to build the European compliant model in countries that require EUR certification outside of Europe such as South Africa and Egypt, the company said.
South Korea, the world's fifth-biggest user of nuclear power, has been eager to sell its nuclear reactors abroad since its state-run utility Korea Electric Power Corp (KEPCO) won a deal to build four nuclear reactors in the United Arab Emirates in 2012.
At home, South Korea, Asia's fourth-largest economy, wants to reduce its dependence on coal in favor of natural gas and renewables to reduce emissions and cut back on nuclear power because of safety concerns.
South Korea's energy minister has said he would support the country's nuclear export business even as the country plans to phase out its use of nuclear power.
KHNP, fully owned by KEPCO, runs all of the country's 24 nuclear power plants.
(Reporting By Jane Chung; Editing by Christian Schmollinger)