Newly-elected South Korean President Moon Jae-in said that his country will completely phase out the use of nuclear power, citing ‘unimaginable consequences’ similar to Fukushima reactor meltdown.
Instead, the country would now be more dependent on renewable energy, the President stated. Moon Jae-in was at the event of closure of the South Korea’s oldest nuclear plant, Kori-1.
The Guardian quoted President Moon Jae-in as saying: “So far, South Korea’s energy policy pursued cheap prices and efficiency. Cheap production prices were considered the priority while the public’s life and safety took a back seat. But it’s time for a change.
“We will abolish our nuclear-centred energy policy and move towards a nuclear-free era. We will completely scrap construction plans for new nuclear reactors that are currently under way.”
The nuclear power plant located in Busan, 300km from the capital, Seoul and it has been operating for 40 years now. This is the first nuclear plant that has been closed down permanently.
Presently, there are 25 nuclear plants operating, which produce about a third of the country’s electricity. And the government is planning not to extend the life of aging reactors.
The safety of people has been cited as the main reason behind such a move. The government is instead, focused on finding sustainable and especially renewable sources of energy.
South Korea was the fifth largest producer of nuclear energy in the world last year, according to the World Nuclear Association.
Many of the 25 nuclear reactors are located close to residential areas and this could cause ‘unimaginable consequences’ in case a nuclear meltdown occurs, the President at the event stated.
The government is also planning to shut down at least 10 aging coal power plants, while putting more emphasis on renewable energy. The government plans to increase the share of renewables to 20% by 2030.