The consortium comprising Hyundai Engineering and Construction and Hyundai Engineering has won the €19m project over two European consortiums.

The project involves upgrading the reactor’s capacity from 2MW to 3MW and constructing a cold neutron research facility, according to the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning.

The ministry was quoted by Yonhap News Agency as saying, "The successful bidding by the KAERI-led consortium has a special meaning as it came after a fierce competition against international consortia led by France’s AREVA, Germany’s NUKEM and Russia’s NIEKET."

"The market for the country’s nuclear technology has so far been limited to the Middle East and Southeast Asia despite its continued efforts to develop and further advance its own technologies," the ministry added.

South Korea had earlier secured deals for nuclear reactors in the UAE, Jordan, Thailand and Malaysia.

The latest deal marks the first project for the country in Europe.