SGRA Kawaraban (Essay) in English

LEE Chung-sun “My ‘Power Plant’ bloomed in a foreign country.”

South Korean President Yoon Suk-Yeol visited United Arab Emirates (UAE) early in the New Year. The visit of the South Korean prime minister to UAE was the first time since 1980 when both countries normalized their diplomatic relations and both countries have been promoting their friendships and economic cooperation since then. President Yoon and his economic mission visited the Barakah Nuclear Power Plant site which KEPCO (Korean Electric Power Corporation) consortium built and operated after getting an order in December 2009.


I noticed one picture in which we can see President Yoon and KEPCO employees who work in Barakah Power Plant. I noticed my ex-boss behind President Yoon whom I have worked together ten years ago. I saw my colleague also who was smiling proudly with his unique facial expression.


KEPCO is my ex-workplace where I have been working for eleven years before I came to Japan as a foreign student in 2015. I have been working at Cheongju (清州) and Seoul HQ from 2003 to 2014. And I became a project member for getting an order for four units of a Nuclear Power Plant in Barakah. I dedicated myself to the project for one year together with my colleagues at the top-secret basement room of headquarters which was called “War Room”. Exaggeratedly speaking, the room was a top-secret space which associates underground room in the movie “Parasite”.


Through a course of patience, the KEPCO consortium has succeeded in getting an order amounting to 40 billion dollars overcoming strong competitors like US-Japan Consortium or France Consortium. In South Korea, December 27 is a national holiday for celebrating nuclear safety and promotion. This date means the KEPCO consortium got the order and was nominated by UAE as a final business operator. The figure$40 billion is the biggest in South Korean overseas contracts up to now.


After getting an order, I was responsible for administration works at Barakah Nuclear Power Plant till 2014 end when I resigned. Administration works covered the administration of personal, general affairs, financial affairs, remittance, and top-secret documents. It gave me a sense of accomplishment and strong worldly desires. It gave me a strong trace of laughter and tears also in my thirty’s biography.


In the early stage of my studying in Japan, I had a feeling that it might be too late to become a researcher. However, I am just around the corner of obtaining a Ph.D. now and elicited another conclusion. Namely, those eleven years of social experiences became my valuable assets and became “My Power Station” which made me work energetically. I could have a variety of experiences. creation of the business report, analysis of a variety of conference materials, presentation by myself, business collaboration with foreign VIPs as a liaison person in charge, keeping our promises, understanding of different cultures, adherence to business ethics, positive attitude, etc. Looking back at those eleven years of experience, it made me resilience against any difficulties and gave me a source of power towards tomorrow.


The UAE Power Station stopped at the end of the year 2014 in me. But another “Power Station” has been keeping running in myself in Japan. First, my doctoral dissertations which I have finished writing recently, although they may be immature, will be my first “Power Station”. Early in the New Year 2023, I am full of emotion confirming my “Power Station” thinking having sowed seeds that grew ripe in the desert as Barakah Nuclear Power Plant.


Construction of nuclear power plants delay five to ten years usually. KEPCO Consortium, however, could succeed in its construction work as scheduled within the budget overcoming a lot of unfavorable conditions. When President Yoon visited UAE (as mentioned above), UAE promised to make an additional investment to South Korea amounting to 30 billion dollars. It is because UAE admitted that the Consortium has kept its construction period and its mission for the project. So, I like to operate my “Power Station” in a foreign country at my own pace, temperature, and style from my viewpoint. After my getting degree, I like to keep getting and constructing hereafter No. 2 and 3 “Power Stations” aiming for the next stage.


Barakah Nuclear Power Plant remained an eternal and unfinished plant in my mind. I like to send my applause to my ex-colleagues who completed the plant and Raccoon members who are operating their own “Power Plants” around the world.



SGRA Kawaraban 729 in Japanese (Original)



LEE Chung-sun / 2021 Raccoon, being enrolled at the University of Tokyo, Ph.D.   


Translated by Kazuo Kawamura

English checked by Sabina Koirala