South Korea president says will continue phasing out nuclear power
Moon’s statement came after a public opinion survey on Friday found a majority of almost 60% in favour of resuming the stalled construction of two reactors.world Updated: Oct 22, 2017 12:11 IST
South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in said on Sunday the government will continue to phase out nuclear-generated electricity, following a public opinion survey that dealt a blow to his plans to do so.
“We will completely stop all plans for the construction of new nuclear reactors like the government previously stated,” Moon said in a statement distributed to reporters by his office.
“The government will also step up usage of natural gas and renewables in order to maintain its stance of phasing out nuclear-generated power.”
Moon’s statement came after a public opinion survey on Friday found a majority of almost 60% in favour of resuming the stalled construction of two reactors.
The president asked his supporters on Sunday to respect the outcome of the survey, which he called a “wise and intelligent” response.
Completing the two reactors could mean a reversal of a strategy to slowly reduce nuclear energy’s share of the power mix, and also significantly eat into the liquefied natural gas (LNG) demand of the world’s second-largest consumer of the fuel.
With the two reactors set to be completed in October 2021 and October 2022, according to state-run nuclear operator Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power, Moon said safety standards for nuclear plants would be ramped up.
Moon also reiterated his plan to shut down the Wolsong No. 1 nuclear reactor, the nation’s second-oldest, once the government confirms stability in energy supplies.
The 697-megawatt reactor in southeastern South Korea was taken offline in 2012 after reaching its 30-year lifespan, but the regulator approved a restart a few years ago until 2022.
South Korea has 24 nuclear reactors, supplying a third of its electricity.