Archive for December, 2009

Korea Massively Subsidizes Nuclear Plant Export

December 31st, 2009

The UAE (United Arab Emirates) recently announced that a Korean Team had beat out American, French, and Japanese bids to build a large four station safe nuclear power plant.

Expectations had been for the cost to be roughly $40 billion, but somehow the Korean team managed to come in with a bid of only $20.7 billion, drastically below competitor’s bids.

How can they be that much cheaper? I wish our media would be smart enough to ask such questions without having to be spoon fed, but there is not magical way for a $40 billion facility to suddenly cost $20.7 billion. It had to be extremely heavily subsidized by the Korean government. Their government at least had to put $10 billion of loans, support, and direct cash into this project, if not more.

Ironically, the USA is paying indirectly for the costs on several fronts. For instance we subsidize the defense of both South Korea and the UAE. We allow open access of goods from South Korea, though it is very difficult for American companies to export there. Also, we spend tens of billions of dollars on oil from the UAE. Without America this ridiculous bid could neither be made or paid for, yet our companies lost out on a deal that will put hundreds of thousands of Koreans to work for a decade.

Korea is taking a long-term view of this nuclear energy market – The world needs energy that does not burn oil or coal and is relatively “green” because of the lack of polluting via putting carbon in the air (by burning coal, oil, etc.). Wind, solar, etc. have potential, but to generate power on a large scale without heavily polluting there is only one choice for much of the world the next few decades, nuclear power. Korea is out to develop a single type of nuclear power plant it can build not just in the UAE, but all over the world. Hundreds could be necessary, and all will be showcased by this project. That is why it is worth a $10 billion+ bet on their government’s part.

We need to take a closer look at our supposedly “closest ally in the region” the UAE. Why did they throw the American bid out if they are such a close friend?

I don’t blame the Korean govern for trying to take care of their own people. Unfortunately, it is at the expense of American workers . We need to keep this in mind not just on a government level, but also when we make any purchase.

Todd Lipscomb
Founder of, a source of products made in the USA

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