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S. Korea makes inroad into basic nuclear technology field

SEOUL, Jan. 29 (Yonhap) -- South Korea has made a significant inroad into basic nuclear technology by listing important research results with the Evaluated Nuclear Data File (ENDF) late last year, the government said Monday.

The ENDF is managed by the U.S.-based National Nuclear Data Center under the Brookhaven National Laboratory, and the information within the files are used as key references for various scientific research and practical applications, the Ministry of Science and Technology said.

The information that is listed provides critical information for the building of nuclear reactors, the advancement of human medicine and space exploration. It can also be used to help nuclear non-proliferation and the building of fourth generation atomic reactors.

South Korea researchers and labs have before never listed their findings in the ENDF.

Due to the need for sufficient research resources, extensive funds and technology needed for such work, industrialized countries have previously monopolized all the data adopted by the data file.

The ministry said the 166 nuclide data compiled by researchers at the state-run Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute (KAERI) is a landmark achievement. Of the total, 131 were neutron-related information with the remainder being devoted to nuclide reaction data.

The research that led to the achievement started in 1998 with Lee Young-ouk leading the research.

"The data that is accepted by the ENDF is of vital importance in the field of nuclear energy, life science and the use of space," the scientist said. He added that in the future more detailed and extensive data will have to be researched to meet the growing demand for quality reference.

Lee said South Korea needed to upgrade its research capacity in order to reach the level of technology leaders in this field.



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