Shin Kori commission recommends resuming nuclear reactor project

Shin Kori commission recommends resuming nuclear reactor project

Shin Kori commission recommends resuming nuclear reactor project

President Moon Jae-in, who ran for office with a pledge to re-direct the country's energy mix towards natural gas and renewable power sources, had pulled the plug on construction of new reactors this summer.

Building nuclear power stations takes years, sometimes decades, so the decision in favour of the two new reactors will not change South Korea's immediate fuel demand patterns.

Those plans were dealt an unlooked-for blow on Friday when a public opinion survey found a majority of nearly 60 percent in favour of resuming the stalled construction of two reactors. Experts say that the public survey was significant regardless of its results, in that it reaffirmed what citizens want in the long run, which is to eventually phase out nuclear energy.

"With the planned nuclear phase-out delayed, it will be interesting to see whether more aggressive anti-coal policies are enacted", Giam said.

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Park Soo-hyun, a spokesman for the president, told reporters that Moon's office respects "the will" of the government panel.

Aside from the two reactors, the country has another four that are near completion and 24 existing reactors. The country lacks natural resources and imports almost all of its energy supply from elsewhere. "Many expected to difference [between those in favor of nuclear power and those opposed] would be a maximum of 10 percentage points, but as it turns out, it stood almost at 20", Reuters quoted the researcher as saying.

The country is also a major exporter of nuclear technology to the world.

A state commission on Friday recommended the government resume construction of two nuclear reactors that the administration had initially wanted to shutter.

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Kerry Anne Shanks, an energy analyst at consultant Wood Mackenzie, said that killing the nuclear power plant plans could have made such deals politically complicated. Only 9.7 percent said the country should expand its nuclear energy development.

Ditching nuclear energy would probably have led to an unpopular rise in electricity prices as well, according to Shanks.

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